Four experiments explored the composition and stability of internalorthographic representations of printed words. In three experiments,subjects were presented on successive occasions with words that wereconsistently spelled correctly or were consistently misspelled. On thesecond presentation, subjects were more likely to judge both kinds ofwords as correctly spelled than on the first presentation, suggesting thattheir preexperimental orthographic representations had been altered tomatch what they had seen on the first presentation. However, onlymisspellings that were consistent with the correct phonology wereaccepted; spellings that altered the phonology were rarely accepted,suggesting that some parts of the orthographic representation are lessstable than others. Also, subjects' reliance on orthographic vs.phonological memory when judging a word's spelling was affected by thekinds of other misspellings in the list. Lists that contained somephonologically implausible spellings for real words (e.g., *assostance)induced subjects to rely more on phonological plausibility when judgingthe correctness of other words in the list and less on orthographic memory.An individual grapheme in an internal orthographic representation wasunstable when there were many phonologically acceptable alternatives forit. The results are contrary to the view that the strength of an internalrepresentation is uniform across all its graphemes and is a function only ofvisual experience with the printed form. Results were interpreted in thecontext of a theory that considers spelling knowledge to be a by-productof the reading process, a process that involves phonological analysis.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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