Lexical Aspect and the Use of Third-Person Singular /S/ in African American English-Speaking Children




Marks, Rachel L.

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The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether the lexical aspect of the verb plays a role in 3rd/s/ marking and whether differences can be observed in rates of 3rd/s/ production between typically developing (TD) AAE-speaking children and their peers with specific language impairment (SLI). Proportions of 3rd/s/ marked-verbs were compared across and within groups. Differences were found in the type of verb that was marked for 3rd/s/ and between the TD and SLI groups of AAE-speaking children’s rate of 3rd/s/ production. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role lexical aspect plays in grammatical morphology and that children with SLI may not be sensitive to this role across dialects of English.



African American, communicative competence, children, language impairment, verbs, English language


Marks, R. L. (2009). Lexical aspect and the use of third-person singular /s/ in African American English-speaking children (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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