Passive Participle Marking by African American English–Speaking Children Reared in Poverty PurposeIn this study, the authors examined the linguistic profile of African American English (AAE)-speaking children reared in poverty by focusing on their marking of passive participles and by comparing the results with the authors' previous study of homophonous forms of past tense (S. Pruitt & J. Oetting, 2009).MethodThe data were ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2011
Passive Participle Marking by African American English–Speaking Children Reared in Poverty
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sonja L. Pruitt
    San Diego State University
    San Diego State University
  • Janna B. Oetting
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  • Michael Hegarty
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  • Correspondence to Sonja Pruitt: spruitt@mail.sdsu.edu
  • Editor: Karla McGregor
    Editor: Karla McGregor×
  • Associate Editor: Sean Redmond
    Associate Editor: Sean Redmond×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language
Article   |   April 01, 2011
Passive Participle Marking by African American English–Speaking Children Reared in Poverty
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2011, Vol. 54, 598-607. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0134)
History: Received July 8, 2009 , Revised January 4, 2010 , Accepted August 23, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2011, Vol. 54, 598-607. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0134)
History: Received July 8, 2009; Revised January 4, 2010; Accepted August 23, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeIn this study, the authors examined the linguistic profile of African American English (AAE)-speaking children reared in poverty by focusing on their marking of passive participles and by comparing the results with the authors' previous study of homophonous forms of past tense (S. Pruitt & J. Oetting, 2009).

MethodThe data were from 45 five- to six-year-olds who spoke AAE and who participated in the authors' earlier study. Fifteen were classified as low-income (LSES); the others were classified as middle-income and served as either age- or language-matched controls. The data came from a probe that was designed by S. M. Redmond (2003), but it was modified to examine the morphological and phonological characteristics of AAE.

ResultsParticiple marking by all 3 groups was influenced by AAE phonology, but the LSES children marked the participles at lower rates than the controls. The LSES children’s rates of participle marking were also lower than their rates of marking for homophonous forms of past tense. Unlike the children’s rates of past-tense marking, their rates of participle marking were correlated to their vocabulary test scores.

ConclusionsAAE-speaking children reared in poverty present weaknesses in aspects of grammatical morphology that are related to their vocabulary weaknesses.

Acknowledgments
Funding was provided by a graduate student assistantship and Foundation Research Account from Louisiana State University. During the completion of this study, the second and third authors were funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant RO1DC00981. These data were also presented at the 2007 annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Boston, MA. Gratitude is extended to Elicia Gilbert for assistance with the stimuli and to April Garrity for assistance with the reliability. We also thank the teachers, parents, and children who made the research possible.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access