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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Dialect variation and phonological knowledge: Phonological representations and metalinguistic awareness among beginning readers who speak nonmainstream American English
Author: Nicole Patton Terry
Institution: Georgia State University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Children's spoken nonmainstream American English (NMAE) dialect use and their knowledge about phonological representations of word pronunciations were assessed in a sample of 105 children in kindergarten through second grade. Children were given expressive and receptive tasks with dialect-sensitive stimuli. Students who produced many NMAE features in speech nonetheless demonstrated considerable knowledge of “standard” English forms on the tasks, and their phonological representations were not deficient. In regression analyses, an inverse relationship between NMAE use and reading skill was observed, but mediated by phonological awareness. The findings are inconsistent with the view that print–speech mismatches interfere with young NMAE speakers’ reading acquisition, and instead suggest that dialect variation among beginning readers reflects metalinguistic differences that influence reading acquisition.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 35, Issue 1.

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