LINGUIST List 9.1446

Thu Oct 15 1998

Qs: AAVE & lg acquisition, Source of 'emphatic'

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>

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  1. CRafal, AAVE & lg acquisition
  2. Henry Rogers, Source of 'emphatic'

Message 1: AAVE & lg acquisition

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 12:07:10 -0400
From: CRafal <>
Subject: AAVE & lg acquisition

I am wondering if readers could recommend research on language
acquisition by children who are coming up with African American
Vernacular English as their first language.

My question comes out of the following context. We are working with the
Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium to
develop a test for beginning teachers, as one of three assessment
components toward licensure (other parts include content area, and a
teaching portfolio). One small item proposed for this test went basically
as follows:

"A teacher notices that young children say "went" and then at a later
time, say "goed." What does this change in the use of these words
display about how children learn language? How would you respond?"

Reviewers have raised a question as to whether this regularization can be
considered a widespread phenomenon at all, and more specifically, whether it
is limited to children acquiring Standard English (a question about AAVE
was raised specifically).

We are trying to be careful that the exam not reflect a biased, or
culturally limited, single view of child development, and--to the extent
possible (universals)--of language acquisition.

I do not typically read the list anymore so if anyone has any relevant research
or information, I will be very grateful if you could e-mail me directly at I will send a summary of responses to list later.

Many thanks,
 Christine Theberge Rafal

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Message 2: Source of 'emphatic'

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 08:01:35 -0500
From: Henry Rogers <>
Subject: Source of 'emphatic'

Does anyone have any information on the source and history of the use
of the term 'emphatic' in Semitic. My interest is not in how the term 
is used in various languages, but in why this particular word was used 
in English. Are there equivalents in Arabic, Hebrew, French, German?


Henry Rogers


Henry Rogers
Dept. of Linguistics vox: (416-) 978-1769
University of Toronto fax: (416-) 971-2688
Toronto, Ont., M5S 3H1, Canada
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