A Sociolinguistic Investigation of the Speech of African American Preschoolers In this study we attempted to investigate aspects of the sociolinguistic environment of African American preschoolers. Specifically, preschool teachers were asked to identify African American preschoolers who "have trouble speaking." Subsequently, speech-language pathologists analyzed samples of the children’s speech to isolate the speech patterns that may have corresponded to the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 1992
A Sociolinguistic Investigation of the Speech of African American Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ken M. Bleile
    Children’s Seashore House, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Department of Communication Disorders, 34th and Civic Center Boulevard, PA 19104
  • Hillary Wallach
    Owings Mills, MD
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 1992
A Sociolinguistic Investigation of the Speech of African American Preschoolers
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1992, Vol. 1, 54-62. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0102.54
History: Received October 8, 1990 , Accepted October 7, 1991
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1992, Vol. 1, 54-62. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0102.54
History: Received October 8, 1990; Accepted October 7, 1991

In this study we attempted to investigate aspects of the sociolinguistic environment of African American preschoolers. Specifically, preschool teachers were asked to identify African American preschoolers who "have trouble speaking." Subsequently, speech-language pathologists analyzed samples of the children’s speech to isolate the speech patterns that may have corresponded to the teacher’s judgments. Subjects included 27 children who were enrolled in an inner city Head Start program. Head Start teachers belonging to the same race and community as the children acted as judges. The analysis yielded a number of speech patterns that distinguished the children judged to have trouble speaking from children judged to have no difficulties in speaking.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the Head Start teachers who generously gave their time to this study. We also wish to thank Teresa M. Helinski, who provided valuable editorial assistance during the preparation of the manuscript, and Jack Damico, Noma Anderson, and Jeanne Wilcox, who provided valuable reviews of earlier drafts of this paper.
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