Title

First And Second Graders’ Interpretation Of Standard American English Morphology Across Varieties Of English

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2012

Publication Title

First Language

Department

Psychology

Abstract

While African American English (AAE) and Standard American English (SAE) share many features, there are also differences that could affect comprehension. This article examines how 1st and 2nd grade AAE- and SAE-speaking children interpret sentences containing shared lexical and morphological (i.e., plural –s) forms as compared to sentences containing forms that do not regularly occur in AAE (past tense –ed, 3rd person present –s, future contracted –’ll). Using a picture-choice task the study found that while all children correctly interpreted shared forms, only the SAE-speakers, but not the AAE-speakers, successfully interpreted SAE tense morphology. In addition, the AAE-speakers showed no grade-related changes in performance. This suggests that linguistic differences may impact educational access for AAE-speaking students. These, and other implications, are discussed.

Volume

32

Issue

3

pp.

365-384

ISSN

0142-7237