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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter presents some of the similarities and differences between African American English (AAE) and Southern White English (SWE) in children using data from typically developing four- and six-year-olds who live in rural areas in southeastern Louisiana. Similarities between AAE and SWE include the many types of nonmainstream grammar structures that the children produce. Differences between AAE and SWE include the frequency at which the children produce the nonmainstream grammar structures, the linguistic contexts in which the children produce some of the nonmainstream grammar structures, and the pragmatic function of some of the children’s nonmainstream grammar structures. The chapter concludes by discussing topics for future study, such as the emergence of different nonmainstream English dialects in children under the age of four years and the relation between children’s use of nonmainstream grammar structures and their performance on different types of language-literacy tasks.

Keywords: southeastern Louisiana, African American English (AAE), Southern White English (SWE), children, dialects, acquisition and development

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