Orthographic structure and deaf spelling errors: Syllables, letter frequency, and speech
Source: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 1 April 2004, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 385-417(33)
Abstract:Syllable structure influences hearing students' reading and spelling (e.g., Badecker, 1996; Caramazza & Miceli, 1990; Prinzmetal, Treiman, & Rho, 1986; Rapp, 1992; Treiman & Zukowski, 1988). This may seem unsurprising since hearers closely associate written and spoken words. We analysed a corpus of spelling errors made by deaf students. They would have learned English orthography with an attenuated experience of speech. Wefound that the majority of their errors were phonologically implausible but orthographically legal. A tendency to replace uncommon letter sequences with common sequences could not account for this pattern, nor could residual influence from speech. Since syllabically defined constraints are required to keep sequences orthographically legal, the deaf data are marked by an influence of syllable structure. Two main conclusions follow: (1) Our results contribute to evidence that abstract constraints, not derived from peripheral speech or hearing mechanisms, govern the organization of linguistic knowledge; and (2) statistical redundancy could not explain the deaf results. It does not offer a general alternative to suprasegmental structure.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-04-01T00:00:00