Metalinguistics, Stress Accuracy, and Word Reading: Does Dialect Matter? Purpose The authors examined the influence of demographic variables on nonmainstream American English (NMAE) use; the differences between NMAE speakers and mainstream American English (MAE) speakers on measures of metalinguistics, single-word reading, and a new measure of morphophonology; and the differences between the 2 groups in the relationships among the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2012
Metalinguistics, Stress Accuracy, and Word Reading: Does Dialect Matter?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Jarmulowicz
    The University of Memphis, TN
  • Valentina L. Taran
    The University of Memphis, TN
    Iris Speech Solutions, LLC, Arlington, TN
  • Jamie Seek
    Shelby County Schools, Memphis, TN
  • Correspondence to Linda Jarmulowicz: ljrmlwcz@memphis.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Shari Robertson
    Associate Editor: Shari Robertson×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2012
Metalinguistics, Stress Accuracy, and Word Reading: Does Dialect Matter?
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2012, Vol. 43, 410-423. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0060)
History: Received August 9, 2011 , Revised February 2, 2012 , Accepted February 24, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2012, Vol. 43, 410-423. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0060)
History: Received August 9, 2011; Revised February 2, 2012; Accepted February 24, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose The authors examined the influence of demographic variables on nonmainstream American English (NMAE) use; the differences between NMAE speakers and mainstream American English (MAE) speakers on measures of metalinguistics, single-word reading, and a new measure of morphophonology; and the differences between the 2 groups in the relationships among the measures.

Method Participants were typically developing 3rd graders from Memphis, TN, including 21 MAE and 21 NMAE speakers. Children received a battery of tests measuring phonological and morphological awareness (PA and MA), morphophonology (i.e., accurately produced lexical stress in derived words), decoding, and word identification (WID).

Results Controlling for socioeconomic status, measures of PA, decoding, and WID were higher for MAE than for NMAE speakers. There was no difference in stress accuracy between the dialect groups. Only for the NMAE group were PA and MA significantly related to decoding and WID. Stress accuracy was correlated with word reading for the NMAE speakers and with all measures for the MAE speakers.

Conclusion Stress accuracy was consistently related to reading measures, even when PA and MA were not. Morphophonology involving suprasegmental factors may be an area of convergence between language varieties because of its consistent relationship to word reading.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Foundation 2004 New Investigator Grant awarded to the first author and by The Center for Research Initiatives and Strategies for the Communicatively Impaired at the University of Memphis, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access