dialectal relationship exists across a creole continuum, or in the aftermath of one. Since American Black English is in all likelihood a decreolized creole, and since at least one controlled study has turned up statistically demonstrated evidence of comprehension problems with Standard English on the part of Black English speaking children (Berdan, 1977) -- and, most important of all, since the success of public education with those who need it most hangs in the balance, the empirical study of the linguistic and psycholinguistic mechanism involved in productive and receptive competence across dialects ought to be an important research agenda.
The material in this paper is in part derived from research supported by a grant (GS-39814X) from the National Science Foundation.
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