Production of four morphological or syntactic structures by Black English speaking kindergarten children from low and middle-high socioeconomic levels
Chiodo, Mary Catherine
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence/absence of four morphological or syntactic structures (questions, multiple negatives, third person singular present progressive auxiliary is+verb+ing constructs and third person singular present tense verlH-s constructs) by Black kindergarten children from low and middle-high socioeconomic level families. In an attempt to ascertain if there were changes in the production of the structures as a function of socioeconomic level, samples of speech obtained in response to verbal and picture stimulation of 20 low socioeconomic children and 20 middle-high socioeconomic children were analyzed to determine the presence (indicating Standard English use) or absence (indicating Black English use) of these four structures. The results indicated that there was a significant difference between the low and middle-high socioeconomic level children in their use of the four structures, with the middle-high SEL children demonstrating a greater degree of SE production than the low SEL kindergarten subjects.