144 VIRGINIA A. MANN as a string of phonemes. As a consequence of being a deep alphabet, Eng- lish includes not only phonologically ‘transparent’ spellings that preserve both phonemes and morphemes, but phonologically ‘opaque’ or ‘shifted’ transcriptions that preserve morpheme-sized units at the cost of phoneme- to-grapheme regularity. The fact that health contains the spelling of heal is a common example of a phonologically opaque spelling: the letter sequence ‘heal’ represents a morpheme-sized unit and pronunciation of the vowel digraph ‘ea’ shifts according to the sufﬁx that follows. Spellings like this suggests that both phoneme and morpheme skills could play a role in learning how to read and spell a language such as English. Three papers in this issue (Carlisle; Mahony, Singson & Mann; Singson, Mahony & Mann) offer evid- ence that sensitivity to English derivational morphology is increasingly linked with the development of reading skills during the later elementary school years. Two other papers (Bryant, Nunes and Bindman; Leong) show how the development of English spelling skill relates to the awareness of morphemes. Being aware of morphemes must surely presuppose an awareness of phoneme- and syllable-sized units, thus it is an important question whether morphological awareness makes a
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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