In two studies the relationship between theonset of reading and language specific speechperception, the degree to which native speechperception is superior to non-native speechperception, was investigated. In Experiment 1with children of 4, 6, and 8 years, languagespecific speech perception occurred maximallyat 6 years and was positively related toreading ability for age and languagecomprehension level. In Experiment 2, with anexpanded range of ages and various stimulus andtask changes, the relationship between readingand language specific speech perception stillheld, and maximal language specific speechperception occurred around the onset of readinginstruction for three different sets of speechcontrasts, but not for a control set ofnon-speech contrasts. The results show thatlanguage specific speech perception is alinguistic rather than an acoustic phenomenon.Results are discussed in terms of early speechperception abilities, experience with oralcommunication, cognitive ability, readingability, alphabetic versus logographiclanguages, phonics versus whole word readinginstruction, and the effect of age versusinstruction.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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