Phonologic Mediation Is Fundamental to Reading: Evidence from Beginning Readers

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Three tasks were employed to investigate the role of assembled phonology in beginning readers. In two proofreading tasks, children had more trouble finding pseudohomophone misspellings (stimuli with phonology identical to that of a word) than control misspellings (stimuli that do not share their phonology with a word). In a lexical-decision task, they had more trouble deciding that pseudohomophone misspellings were non-words than deciding that control misspellings were non-words. Finally, in a semantic-categorization task, children had more trouble rejecting pseudohomophone misspellings as a member of a designated category than rejecting control misspellings. Differences between more and less advanced readers occurred, but they need not be attributed to differential use of phonology in word recognition. Instead, they were explained in terms of a difference between reader groups in spelling-verification efficiency. The results of the present studies on beginning reading parallel studies on skilled reading by Van Orden et al. (1992). The main conclusion was that assembled phonology plays an important role in word recognition in beginning readers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 1996

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