Reliable access to syntactic information beyond its use in first-pass reading was probed using a task labeled syntactic reading task. This task draws on an orthographic marker for syntactic structure, the capitalization of nouns in German. Subjects read written text strings containing a unit that could be taken as a noun or as a verb. The strings were disambiguated by the unit being capitalized or not. Thus subjects could interpret the text only when taking the capitalization marker into account. Data were collected from 231 German-speaking secondary school students. The results show that even subjects who were capable of reliably using capitalization markers in writing varied considerably in their use of these markers to identify syntactic structure in reading. High-achieving subjects profited more than others in situations where they could tie syntactic information to a prominent capitalization marker. This suggests that focus on syntactic form alone does not guarantee reliable access to syntactic information.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2011
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