Unclear on American Campus: What the Foreign Teacher Said

Ronald Kephart rkephart at unf.edu
Mon Jun 27 16:37:48 UTC 2005

At 10:48 AM +0100 6/27/05, Anthea Fraser Gupta wrote:

>...So some real disorder can be overlooked...

I wonder.... What is the frequency of children with language problems 
that result from a neurological or anatomical pathology ( as opposed 
to merely having acquired the wrong accent or dialect)?  Is such an 
estimate even available, given the folk tendency to confuse these two 

My own starting null hypothesis would be that given that language 
acquisition is an outcome of normal human growth and development, 
i.e. not "taught," the % of real pathologies should be not much 
different from the % of pathologies observed with regard to 
acquisition of bipedal walking, which like language is not "taught." 
Am I totally out of line here? Does anybody know?

>Linguists shouldn't be complicit in systems of prejudice.

Not only that, I think that we have, as the professionals involved, a 
moral obligation to call attention to instances where language 
"policies" are really covers for racial and other prejudices.


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