- It could be dialectal, since AAE often patterns to minimize word-final consonants, and also that it would be worthwhile to hear if the child pronounces the alleged missing consonants in other positions in words.
- The pathologization of African American speech (and other) behaviors has a long, sorry, and racist history.
- Contrary to our folk model, peers and those a little older are more important to children's language development than are parents.
- At only 3 years old, the child has barely had time to complete the process of language acquisition; chill out.
However, Robert Kephart, a linguistic expert at University of North Florida, said the case raises a decades-old debate about dialect versus defect within the black community.
“There is a tendency that we have with labeling some of the things that African-American children deal with as pathology,” he said, pointing to the 1950s and 1960s when it was common practice for psychologists to label African-Americans as “cognitively deficient” for such things as speech.