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  • Cited by 5
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Joshi, R. Malatesha 2016. Interventions in Learning Disabilities.

    Terry, Nicole Patton Connor, Carol McDonald Johnson, Lakeisha Stuckey, Adrienne and Tani, Novell 2016. Dialect variation, dialect-shifting, and reading comprehension in second grade. Reading and Writing, Vol. 29, Issue. 2, p. 267.

    Terry, Nicole Patton 2006. Relations Between Dialect Variation, Grammar, and Early Spelling Skills. Reading and Writing, Vol. 19, Issue. 9, p. 907.

    Horton-Ikard, Ramonda Weismer, Susan Ellis and Edwards, Claire 2005. Examining the use of standard language production measures in the language samples of African-American toddlers. Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders, Vol. 3, Issue. 3, p. 169.

    Horton-Ikard, RaMonda and Miller, Jon F. 2004. It is not just the poor kids: the use of AAE forms by African-American school-aged children from middle SES communities. Journal of Communication Disorders, Vol. 37, Issue. 6, p. 467.


Morphosyntactic forms of African American English used by young children and their caregivers

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2002

The study of African American English (AAE) has been historically focused on the dialectal variations of adolescent and adult speakers. More recent investigations of dialect used by very young AAE speakers were undertaken with the goal of describing the language produced by early elementary and preschool-aged children. One important outcome of these studies is increased attention to the importance of considering the impact of developmental influences in our characterizations of dialect use. In this study we explore the differences between primary caregivers and their young children in dialect use across generations by directly examining the dialectal variations apparent during play interactions between primary caregivers and their young children. We conclude that there is indeed evidence in these interactions of differences between the child and caregiver in the structure and use of individual AAE features. Another conclusion is that there are many similarities in the distribution of AAE between these older and younger interactants, highlighting not only their kinship ties but also their membership in the same linguistic community.

Corresponding author
Julie A. Washington, University of Michigan, 1111 E. Catherine St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2054. E-mail:
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Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
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