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date: 19 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the application of current knowledge of the structure of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) to the problem of raising the levels of reading achievement of African American children in elementary schools. The focus is on four morphosyntactic features: past tense –ed, copula –s, verbal –s, andpossessive –s. Given the near-categorical absence of the last two in AAVE, the question arises as to how –s inflections in the printed text affect reading comprehension for speakers of AAVE. It is concluded that instruction in the use of verbal and possessive –s will have a significant effect in increasing reading comprehension.

Keywords: African American Vernacular English (AAVE), reading, literacy, morphosyntactic features, past tense –ed, copula –s, possessive –s, verbal –s

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