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Title:Mothers' Stories: Influences on Vocabulary and Syntax of African American Children With and Without Language Impairment
Author(s):Jenkins, Terrilynn Faye
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cynthia Johnson
Department / Program:Speech and Hearing Science
Discipline:Speech and Hearing Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Studies
Abstract:The present study is concerned with how African American mothers use interesting vocabulary and vary their syntax in personal stories told to their children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). It is also concerned with children's gains in vocabulary and syntactic knowledge as a result of listening to these parental stories. The purposes of the study are: (1) to gain an understanding of African American mothers' contributions to and/or influences on their children's overall language skills; (2) to broaden our understanding of language impairment in African American children by comparing them to their typically developing peers; and (3) to explore the relevancy of using the contexts of personal experiences of children in clinical intervention. The method involved the audio and videotaping of 46 mothers telling personal stories to their children (Mother1). The children in turn retold the same stories to the examiner who was a naive listener; and the mothers retold the same stories to a naive adult listener (Mother 2). All collected stories were transcribed using SALT software (Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts; Miller & Chapman, 2000), re-segmented into utterances using a modified C-unit (Loban, 1976) procedure and coded for low-frequency vocabulary (LFV) and complex syntax (CS) structures. Once coded, the measures were calculated, and reported for mothers' two story versions and the child's version. Findings indicate that African American mothers do use LFV and CS when they tell personal stories even to the their youngest children and those with SLI. Moreover, children with and without SLI in turn used minimally one of their mothers' low-frequency words and CS structures.
Issue Date:2002
Description:143 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3070339
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2002

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