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ERIC Number: EJ1155811
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Dialect Variation of Copula and Auxiliary Verb BE: African American English-Speaking Children with and without Gullah/Geechee Heritage
Berry, Jessica R.; Oetting, Janna B.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n9 p2557-2568 Sep 2017
Purpose: We compared copula and auxiliary verb BE use by African American English-speaking children with and without a creole heritage, using Gullah/Geechee as the creole criterion, to determine if differences exist, the nature of the differences, and the impact of the differences on interpretations of ability. Method: Data came from 38 children, aged 5 to 6 years (19 with Gullah/Geechee and 19 without Gullah/Geechee heritage). All were developing language typically, with groups matched on gender, maternal education, and, when possible, test scores. The children's productions of BE were elicited using a screener, probes, and language samples. Results: Although many similarities were documented, the 2 groups' BE systems differed in 3 ways: use of unique forms (i.e., "d?"), unique use of shared forms (i.e., BEEN), and rates of use of shared forms (e.g., "am," "is," "was"/"were," "was" for "were"). Although most noticeable in the language samples, differences surfaced across tasks and showed the potential to affect interpretations of ability. Conclusions: Dialect variation that is tied to children's creole heritage exists, involves 3 types of variation, and potentially affects interpretations of ability. Effects of a heritage language and different types of variation should be considered in research and clinical endeavors with African American English-speaking children.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: RO1DC009811