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Language and the African American Child

$28.99 (P)

  • Date Published: January 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521618175

$ 28.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • How do children acquire African American English? How do they develop the specific language patterns of their communities? Drawing on spontaneous speech samples and data from structured elicitation tasks, this book explains the developmental trends in the children's language. It examines topics such as the development of tense/aspect marking, negation and question formation, and addresses the link between intonational patterns and meaning. Lisa Green shows the impact that community input has on children's development of variation in the production of certain constructions such as possessive –s, third person singular verbal –s, and forms of copula and auxiliary be. She discusses the implications that the linguistic description has for practical applications, such as developing instructional materials for children in the early stages of their education.

    • The first book to give a linguistic description of the patterns used by children when acquiring African American English
    • Extensive data analysis means it can be used for comparison purposes (with adult African American English and with other child language data)
    • Allows researchers and educators to get a real sense of the type of language children use and what might be the norm for the population
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'With a touch of genius, Green elucidates the intricate grammatical tapestry behind ordinary conversations … the result is a linguistic tour de force.' Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts

    'A distinguished scholar provides a landmark description of how children learn, use, and apply their intricate knowledge of African American language in the home, school, and everyday world.' Walt Wolfram, Director, North Carolina Language and Life Project

    '… a watershed contribution to the study of African American English as spoken by preschoolers.' Ida J. Stockman, Professor Emerita, Michigan State University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521618175
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 139 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 13 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Child AAE: an introductory overview of the data and context
    2. Characterizing AAE: feature lists, dual components, patterns and systems
    3. System of tense-aspect marking 1: non-past and habitual
    4. System of tense-aspect marking 2: past time
    5. Negation: focus on negative concord
    6. Asking questions: seeking clarification and requesting elaboration
    7. Variation: intra-dialectal/variable-shifting and inter-dialectal/code-shifting
    8. The D.I.R.E.C.T. model: linking linguistic description and education.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Black child development
    • Communicating Across Cultures
    • Language and Race
    • Language in the African American Community
  • Author

    Lisa J. Green, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Lisa Green is Associate Professor of Linguistics and the founding director of the Center for the Study of African American Language at the University of Massachusetts. Her previous publications include African American English: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

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