This paper investigates children's developingknowledge of the Hebrew spelling system in view of theclaim that language-specific typology affects the rateand the pattern of development of orthographicspelling. Hebrew is a morphologically syntheticlanguage with a phonologically ``deep'' orthography, onthe one hand, and a consistent representation ofmorphology in the spelling system, on the other. Thispaper focuses on the difference between representingcontent words versus grammatical words, and rootsversus morphemic and attached function letters inwritten Hebrew. The paper describes two studies. InStudy 1, compositions from gradeschool children (grade1 through 6) were analyzed for types of spellingerrors; in Study 2, children from grades 2–4 wereadministered a spelling task. Results indicate thatgrammatical words are spelled correctly before contentwords, and that within content words, the correctspelling of function letters precedes that of rootletters. These differences are attributed to factorsof transparency, consistency and frequency, coupledwith gradeschoolers' growing perception ofphonological and morphological patterning in Hebrew.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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