Introduction to special issue on morphology and the acquisition of alphabetic writing systems

Introduction to special issue on morphology and the acquisition of alphabetic writing systems 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

Introduction to special issue on morphology and the acquisition of alphabetic writing systems

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
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