Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International (APRCi)
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2012

Journal

Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics

Volume

26

Issue

2

First Page

101

Last Page

119

URL with Digital Object Identifier

10.3109/02699206.2011.595523

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of dialectal difference on identification and rating of severity of speech impairment in children from Indigenous Australian backgrounds. The speech of 15 Indigenous Australian children identified by their parents/caregivers and teachers as having ‘difficulty talking and making speech sounds’ was assessed using the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology. Fourteen children were identified with speech impairment on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology using Standard Australian English (AusE) as the target pronunciation; whereas 13 were identified using Australian Aboriginal English (AAE) as the target. There was a statistically significant decrease in seven children’s severity classification and a statistically significant increase in all children’s percentage of consonants, vowels and phonemes correct when comparing AAE with AusE. Features of AAE used by the children included /h/ insertion and deletion, primary stress on the first syllable and diphthongs alternating with short clear vowels. It is important that speech-language pathologists consider children’s dialect as one component of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.


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