Reading in Thai: the case of misaligned vowels

Reading in Thai: the case of misaligned vowels Thai has its own distinctive alphabetic script with syllabic characteristics as it has implicit vowels for some consonants. Consonants are written in a linear order, but vowels can be written non-linearly above, below or to either side of the consonant. Of particular interest to the current study are that vowels can precede the consonant in writing but follow it in speech, hence a mismatch between the spoken and written sequence occurs, for example [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] ‘flat’ is spoken as /bɛ:n/ or in a more severely misaligned example where the vowel operates across syllables the word [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] ‘insect’ is spoken as /m(a)lɛ:ŋ/. In order to investigate if there is a processing cost associated with this discrepancy between spoken and written sequence for vowels and the implications this has in relation to the grain size used when reading Thai, eye movements of adults reading words with and without misaligned vowels in sentences using the EyeLink II tracking system was conducted. Twenty-four university students read 50 pairs of words with misaligned and aligned vowel words matched for length and frequency embedded in same sentence frames. In addition, rapid naming data from forty adults was collected. Data from forty children 6;6–8;6 years old reading and spelling comparable words was also collected and analysed for errors. Results revealed a processing cost due to the more severely misaligned words where the vowel operates across the syllable, and gives support for a syllabic level of segmentation rather than phonemic for reading and spelling in Thai adults and children. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Reading in Thai: the case of misaligned vowels

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-007-9100-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Thai has its own distinctive alphabetic script with syllabic characteristics as it has implicit vowels for some consonants. Consonants are written in a linear order, but vowels can be written non-linearly above, below or to either side of the consonant. Of particular interest to the current study are that vowels can precede the consonant in writing but follow it in speech, hence a mismatch between the spoken and written sequence occurs, for example [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] ‘flat’ is spoken as /bɛ:n/ or in a more severely misaligned example where the vowel operates across syllables the word [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] ‘insect’ is spoken as /m(a)lɛ:ŋ/. In order to investigate if there is a processing cost associated with this discrepancy between spoken and written sequence for vowels and the implications this has in relation to the grain size used when reading Thai, eye movements of adults reading words with and without misaligned vowels in sentences using the EyeLink II tracking system was conducted. Twenty-four university students read 50 pairs of words with misaligned and aligned vowel words matched for length and frequency embedded in same sentence frames. In addition, rapid naming data from forty adults was collected. Data from forty children 6;6–8;6 years old reading and spelling comparable words was also collected and analysed for errors. Results revealed a processing cost due to the more severely misaligned words where the vowel operates across the syllable, and gives support for a syllabic level of segmentation rather than phonemic for reading and spelling in Thai adults and children.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 29, 2008

References

  • Learning to spell a regularly spelled language is not a trivial task- patterns of errors in Kiswahili
    Alcock, K. J.; Ngorosho, D.
  • Phonological awareness, spelling and reading abilities in Spanish-speaking children
    Borzone Manrique, A. M.; Signorini, A.
  • Parallels between the reading and spelling deficits of two subgroups of developmental dyslexics
    Curtin, S.; Manis, F. R.; Seidenberg, M. S.
  • Reading difficulties of Hindi-speaking children with developmental dyslexia
    Gupta, A.

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