Zero Marking of Past Tense in Child African American English Zero marking of the simple past is often listed as a common feature of child African American English (AAE). In the current paper, we review the literature and present new data to help clinicians better understand zero marking of the simple past in child AAE. Specifically, we provide information to ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2014
Zero Marking of Past Tense in Child African American English
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ryan Lee
    Student, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Janna B. Oetting
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Financial Disclosure: Ryan Lee is a student at Georgia State University. Janna B. Oetting is professor at Louisiana State University. Funding for the project was provided to to Ryan Lee through the Southern Regional Education Board/Louisiana Board of Regents and to Janna B. Oetting through NIDCD R01DC009811.
    Financial Disclosure: Ryan Lee is a student at Georgia State University. Janna B. Oetting is professor at Louisiana State University. Funding for the project was provided to to Ryan Lee through the Southern Regional Education Board/Louisiana Board of Regents and to Janna B. Oetting through NIDCD R01DC009811.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Ryan Lee has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article. Janna B. Oetting has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Ryan Lee has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article. Janna B. Oetting has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2014
Zero Marking of Past Tense in Child African American English
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, November 2014, Vol. 21, 173-181. doi:10.1044/lle21.4.173
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, November 2014, Vol. 21, 173-181. doi:10.1044/lle21.4.173

Zero marking of the simple past is often listed as a common feature of child African American English (AAE). In the current paper, we review the literature and present new data to help clinicians better understand zero marking of the simple past in child AAE. Specifically, we provide information to support the following statements: (a) By six years of age, the simple past is infrequently zero marked by typically developing AAE-speaking children; (b) There are important differences between the simple past and participle morphemes that affect AAE-speaking children's marking options; and (c) In addition to a verb's grammatical function, its phonetic properties help determine whether an AAE-speaking child will produce a zero marked form.

Acknowledgements
Appreciation is extended to Dr. Michael Hegarty who helped conceptualize the project and offered linguistic coding advice and Jessica Berry, Kyomi Gregory, Andrew Rivière, Christy Seidel and a number of other students who helped collect and code the data. Appreciation is also extended to the teachers, families and children who made the project possible.
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