Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


African American children--Language; Black English;


he purpose of the present study was to identify the accuracy of sentence imitation and code-switching by the African-American child between the ages of 6 years O months and 7 years 2 months. Despite well documented descriptions of Black English (BE) phonology (Dillard, 1972; Labov, 1972; Wolfram & Fasold, 1974), little has been published about the emerging phonology of BE speaking children. Most descriptive studies of BE have focused on the adult system.

The present study investigated the following research questions, "Will African-American children in this study, when presented with the task of imitating BE and IE sentences, code-switch each with equal frequency?" and "Will African-American students in this study, when presented with an imitation task using BE and IE sentences, imitate each with an equal rate of accuracy?"

The results of this study suggest that African-American children are bilingual, code-switching and sentence imitation were observed in the subjects when presented with stimulus sentences. The study also suggests that African-American students speak IE while at the same time not denying the use of their BE under the appropriate circumstances.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Donald W. Schmits


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (106 pages)



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