ERIC Number: ED150244
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
A Review of the Language Deficit Position: Some Sociolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives. IRCD Bulletin, Volume XII, Number 4.
Hill, Clifford A.
During the past two decades the educational community has focused much attention on the language of urban minority children. Analytic positions set forth tend to assume varying degrees of either language deficit or language differences. The language deficit position is examined in this work from a sociolinguistic or psycholinguistic point of view. Among the lines of criticism pursued are several which have already been established by proponents of the language difference position. These include charges that language deficit proponents have used invalid criteria in evaluating the oral performance of urban minority students, and have failed to investigate the actual repertoire of verbal skills that these students exercise in everyday communication. A psycholinguistic criticism also levelled by the language difference proponents holds that the others have assumed that nonstandard forms of language reflect deficient forms of cognition. Pursued in depth in this document is another psycholinguistic criticism. This holds that language deficit proponents have assumed an inadequate theory of reference in evaluating the language of urban minority students. Specifically, they have not taken into account the holistic functions of oral language and the dynamic nature of language form. Neither have they recognized that the referential functions of lexical forms are established only in an immediate context, and that lexical forms of language may be considered as possessing deictic and nondeictic functions. (Author/GC)
Descriptors: Cognitive Ability, Language Ability, Language Patterns, Language Skills, Language Styles, Language Usage, Linguistics, Low Income Groups, Minority Group Children, Nonstandard Dialects, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Urban Language
Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University New York, New York 10027 ($1.00)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.