The Child Language Assessment Project (CLASP) is a five-year research project, funded by the NIDCD. Team members are re-evaluating measures used in assessment of children's spoken and written language samples (Language Sample Analysis/LSA), and creating algorithms for bias-free assessment of samples from children who speak non-mainstream dialects of American English. We are analyzing the existing corpora online, in the CHILDES database, and also collecting new data from around the country. We aim to gain a greater understanding of non-mainstream dialects of American English to develop norms for speakers of these dialects. Our ultimate goal is to create clinician-friendly software to help speech-language pathologists analyze language samples so they may differentiate between difference and disorder.
This research is being conducted by Dr. Nan Bernstein Ratner at the University of Maryland, College Park and Dr. Brian MacWhinney at Carnegie-Mellon University.