Complex Syntax Production of African American Preschoolers

Jackson, Sandra C.; Roberts, Joanne E.
October 2001
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2001, Vol. 44 Issue 5, p1083
Academic Journal
This study examined changes in the complex syntax production of 85 3- and 4-year-old African American children and the role of child (i.e., gender, age, African American English) and family (i.e., home environment) factors. The mean percentage of utterances containing one or more complex syntax forms was 6.2% at 3 years and 11.7% at 4 years. Girls produced more complex syntax forms than did boys. Complex syntax production increased significantly between age 3 and age 4 and correlated positively with mean length of utterance in words. Children from more responsive and stimulating home environments produced more complex syntax at 4 years. African American English was not related to the amount of complex syntax used.


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