ERIC Number: ED153219
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Dialect in Children's Literature: An Issue of Importance.
Carr, Robin L.
Research indicates that dialect is used in children's books to suggest the geographic background, social class, educational level, and intelligence of literary characters. Several studies show, however, that young readers develop negative attitudes about characters who speak nonstandard dialects and that these attitudes are intensified if the readers themselves speak a nonstandard dialect. These negative attitudes are partially due to the literary use of "eye dialect," where the author misspells words to convey variant speech patterns. To children, spelling errors reflect low intelligence or undesirability in the character. In addition, the use of literary dialect assumes some sense of amused superiority on the part of the conventional speaker who relates it; dialect divides people into classes. While researchers argue for and against the use of literary dialect in children's books, additional research is needed to determine the total impact of dialect usage on impressionable readers. (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Reading Council of the International Reading Association (10th, Charleston, Illinois, March 3-4, 1978)