ERIC Number: ED117691
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: 0
Suprasegmental Aspects of Reading Interference.
Westbrook, Colston R.
Information is presented in this paper regarding suprasegmental features of Black English thay may cause reading interference for some Black children. Much of the research concerning reading problems of many Afro-American students stresses the segmental differences of the phonology, the morphology, the syntax, and lexical selection between two dialects of American English referred to as Black English and Standard English. Not enough attention has been given to suprasegmental features of Black English such as intonation (pitch, stress, and juncture), prosody, and loud-speaking. Black English is a speech that has common African core elements fused with English. The process of the fusion begins with American languages through a pidginization stage, through a creolization stage (the language called Gullah), to a decreolization stage, to the output-Black English. One can assume that some African language features have been retained and research studies are cited showing that suprasegmental features, especially pitch, are important to the understanding of Black English. Pitch has semantical as well as phonemic significance; certain intonational patterns in Black English may be misunderstood by white teachers who are checking comprehension through oral reading. (MKM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Southwest Area Linguistic and Language Workshop (SWALLOW IV) (San Diego, April 10-12, 1975)