My long-term goal is to investigate the grammatical features of African American English (AAE) from a linguistic theoretical framework so that working hypotheses may be expressed concisely about the make-up of the features. With hypotheses formulated unbiased guidelines may be developed so that AAE speaking children having normal language may be deciphered from those who are disordered. The immediate primary objectives for this project are to: (1). Conduct research on negation, specifically double negation and negative concord, (2). Document the linguistic conditions governing double negation and negative concord in AAE, and (3). Establish objective criteria in syntax-negation for deciphering language difference from disorder in AAE. It is hypothesized that: (1). AAE speaking children having normal language are able to understand the subtle differences between negative concord (two negatives in agreement, communicating a single negation) and double negation (two negatives that are independent, separately communicating a single negation), and (2). Children having specific language impairment (SLI) may be unable to make the above distinctions regarding negation. The two hypotheses will be tested in comprehension and production experiments on children having normal language and those having SLI. In years 1-2 of the award period, I will receive additional training in coding and analyzing language data using CHILDES database system; and take courses in linguistics and a course in bioethics. The course in bioethics will develop skills and awareness for responsible conduct in research; and the courses in linguistics will enhance my knowledge of syntax-negation for devising tasks that may tease apart linguistic knowledge from cognition. The research conducted in year 1 will be to pilot the initial comprehension experimental studies and to run the production experimental studies. Subsequent years (2-4) will be focused on running previously piloted comprehension experiments and piloting newly devised experiments. Coding, entering and analyzing data and submitting manuscripts for publication will be on going throughout the five-year award period. I will also disseminate findings at language conferences during years 3-5. Regular meetings with both mentors will be scheduled throughout the award period.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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Sklare, Dan
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Wayne State University
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Brughera, Andrew; Dunai, Larisa; Hartmann, William M (2013) Human interaural time difference thresholds for sine tones: the high-frequency limit. J Acoust Soc Am 133:2839-55
Coles-White, D'Jaris (2004) Negative concord in child African American English: implications for specific language impairment. J Speech Lang Hear Res 47:212-22