The Influence of Three Phonological Rules of Black English on the Discrimination of Minimal Word Pairs Minimal word pairs that are presumed to be perceptually difficult to differentiate when spoken in black English were examined relative to (1) black children’s performance in differentiating the meanings of their own word pair productions and those of other blacks and whites and (2) white children’s performance in differentiating the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1976
The Influence of Three Phonological Rules of Black English on the Discrimination of Minimal Word Pairs
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane Baran
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Harry N. Seymour
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1976
The Influence of Three Phonological Rules of Black English on the Discrimination of Minimal Word Pairs
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1976, Vol. 19, 467-474. doi:10.1044/jshr.1903.467
History: Received October 28, 1974 , Accepted January 21, 1976
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1976, Vol. 19, 467-474. doi:10.1044/jshr.1903.467
History: Received October 28, 1974; Accepted January 21, 1976

Minimal word pairs that are presumed to be perceptually difficult to differentiate when spoken in black English were examined relative to (1) black children’s performance in differentiating the meanings of their own word pair productions and those of other blacks and whites and (2) white children’s performance in differentiating the meanings of word pairs produced by black children. Perceptual errors were significantly greater for whites listening to word pairs produced by blacks than for blacks listening to themselves, other blacks, or whites. No significant differences were found among blacks listening to themselves, other blacks, and whites. Perceptual errors followed predictable patterns that were influenced by three phonological rules of black English. Also, the data suggest that there are phonemic cues that are imperceptible to non-black-English speakers which allow black-English speakers to differentiate word pairs.

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