Selected Aspects of the Development of English Morphology in Black American Children of Low Socioeconomic Background A modification of Berko’s test was used to explore the use of six morphological rules, as a function of age, by black children living in New York City. For each of the six morphological rules tested, black English and standard American English take different forms. These rules are for noun ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1973
Selected Aspects of the Development of English Morphology in Black American Children of Low Socioeconomic Background
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrya L. H. Ramer
    William Paterson College of New Jersey, Wayne, New Jersey
  • Norma S. Rees
    City University of New York, Graduate School, New York, New York
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1973
Selected Aspects of the Development of English Morphology in Black American Children of Low Socioeconomic Background
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1973, Vol. 16, 569-577. doi:10.1044/jshr.1604.569
History: Received December 26, 1970 , Accepted December 8, 1972
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1973, Vol. 16, 569-577. doi:10.1044/jshr.1604.569
History: Received December 26, 1970; Accepted December 8, 1972

A modification of Berko’s test was used to explore the use of six morphological rules, as a function of age, by black children living in New York City. For each of the six morphological rules tested, black English and standard American English take different forms. These rules are for noun plurals, past tense, third person singular present tense, continuous action in the present, singular possessive, and plural possessive. A total of 90 children in five age groups tested (preschool, N = 12; kindergarten, N = 25; first grade, N = 27; fifth grade, N = 11; and eighth grade, N = 15). The results indicate that, in the presence of the one white examiner, the occurrence of basilect (black English forms) responses decreased while the occurrence of standard English responses increased as the age of the children increased. In no case, however, did even the oldest children use standard English responses to the exclusion of the alternate black English forms.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access