This study examined the relationship between children’s morphological awareness and their ability to produce accurate morphological derivations in writing. Fifth-grade US students (n = 175) completed two writing tasks that invited or required morphological manipulation of words. We examined both accuracy and error, specifically errors in spelling and errors of the sort we termed morphological inventions, which entailed inappropriate, novel pairings of stems and suffixes. Regressions were used to determine the relationship between morphological awareness, morphological accuracy, and spelling accuracy, as well as between morphological awareness and morphological inventions. Linear regressions revealed that morphological awareness uniquely predicted children’s generation of accurate morphological derivations, regardless of whether or not accurate spelling was required. A logistic regression indicated that morphological awareness was also uniquely predictive of morphological invention, with higher morphological awareness increasing the probability of morphological invention. These findings suggest that morphological knowledge may not only assist children with spelling during writing, but may also assist with word production via generative experimentation with morphological rules during sentence generation. Implications are discussed for the development of children’s morphological knowledge and relationships with writing.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 18, 2014
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