Spelling in African American children: the case of final consonant devoicing

Spelling in African American children: the case of final consonant devoicing This study examined the effect of dialect variation on children’s spelling by using devoicing of final /d/ in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) as a test case. In line with the linguistic interference hypothesis, African American 6-year-olds were significantly poorer at spelling the final d of words such as salad than non-African American students after their spelling performance on other parts of the words was statistically taken into account. Specifically, African American students were more likely than non-African American students to produce spelling errors such as salat for salad. Such misspellings were particularly common in African American children who showed higher rates of devoicing when pronouncing the words. African American students did not have more difficulty than non-African American students in spelling the final t of words such as planet. The results suggest that the spellings of some words are particularly opaque for speakers of AAVE and that instruction should take account of this opacity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Spelling in African American children: the case of final consonant devoicing

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Linguistics; Languages and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education (general); Neurology; Interdisciplinary Studies
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-015-9559-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examined the effect of dialect variation on children’s spelling by using devoicing of final /d/ in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) as a test case. In line with the linguistic interference hypothesis, African American 6-year-olds were significantly poorer at spelling the final d of words such as salad than non-African American students after their spelling performance on other parts of the words was statistically taken into account. Specifically, African American students were more likely than non-African American students to produce spelling errors such as salat for salad. Such misspellings were particularly common in African American children who showed higher rates of devoicing when pronouncing the words. African American students did not have more difficulty than non-African American students in spelling the final t of words such as planet. The results suggest that the spellings of some words are particularly opaque for speakers of AAVE and that instruction should take account of this opacity.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 21, 2015

References

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