Toward Validation of a Minimal Competence Phonetic Core for African American Children Purpose This study aimed to show (a) whether the minimal competence core (MCC) of consonants used by African American preschoolers in I. Stockman (2006)  can be observed in a larger group of children using shorter and more controlled speech samples and (b) whether the MCC pass/fail outcomes are differentially related ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
Toward Validation of a Minimal Competence Phonetic Core for African American Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ida J. Stockman
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Contact author: Ida J. Stockman, 203 Oyer Building, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212. E-mail: stockma1@msu.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
Toward Validation of a Minimal Competence Phonetic Core for African American Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1244-1262. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0081)
History: Received April 23, 2007 , Accepted January 24, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1244-1262. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0081)
History: Received April 23, 2007; Accepted January 24, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose This study aimed to show (a) whether the minimal competence core (MCC) of consonants used by African American preschoolers in I. Stockman (2006)  can be observed in a larger group of children using shorter and more controlled speech samples and (b) whether the MCC pass/fail outcomes are differentially related to performance on selected criterion measures of typical and atypical speech.

Method Word-initial single and clustered consonants were sampled in the conversational speech of 120 Head Start students who were distributed in a northern (Lansing, Michigan) and a southern (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) regional location.

Results The data generally corroborated the earlier preliminary report, which was based on just 7 children. More than 80% of the children met criteria for passing the core set of phonetic competencies, which included word-initial consonant clusters and 13 consonant singletons. Pass/fail outcomes were significantly related to suspected clinical delay and the overall Percentage of Consonants Correct–Revised (PCC-R).

Conclusion The initial consonant core identified in this study is potentially useful for identifying speech delay among young African American children. Clinical and research issues related to its use for diagnostic screening are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by U.S. Department of Education Grant R305T90023. The author thanks the Head Start administrative offices for facilitating data collection in Lansing, MI (Lucy McClintic, Sheila Kelly and Judy Towne) and in Baton Rouge, LA (Rosella Williams and her staff). The author is grateful to Barbara Guillory and Marilyn Siebert as well as graduate students at Southern University for their roles in collecting the Louisiana samples. The author also is grateful to students at Michigan State University for their roles in collecting the Michigan data and phonetically transcribing and analyzing both the Michigan and Louisiana data. The author also acknowledges the consultation provided by Hossein Rahbar of Michigan State University for the statistical analyses of the data.
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