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5 - Caretaker’s Influence on Vernacularity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 November 2020

Mary Kohn
Kansas State University
Walt Wolfram
North Carolina State University
Charlie Farrington
University of Oregon
Jennifer Renn
Purdue University, Indiana
Janneke Van Hofwegen
Google, Inc.
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In this chapter, we examine the relationship between the vernacularity of caretaker speech as represented by the participants’ mothers and the subjects in the FPG sample. In this chapter, we examine the relationship between the vernacularity of caretaker speech as represented by the participants’ mothers and the subjects in the FPG sample. The analysis indicates that a significant relationship between the relative vernacularity of AAL-speaking mothers and their children exists across most of the early lifespan. Further, the analysis of the impact of relevant social and family factors on the development of AAL vernacularity reveals gender as a significant determiner at only the earliest and the latest points in the early lifespan. Finally, the analysis uncovers the nuanced picture of the relationship between mothers’ and children’s vernacularity – that adolescent females from low-vernacular families are likely to become low-vernacular speakers (like their mothers) in older adolescence. Finally, we see the departure of the children from the parents in the early stages of schooling, following the roller coaster trajectory described in the overall trajectory of vernacularity described for morphosyntactic features.

African American Language
Language development from Infancy to Adulthood
, pp. 111 - 134
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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