In this paper, two theoretical positionsregarding the developmental origins of thephoneme as a unit for lexical representationand processing are outlined – theaccessibility and emergent positions. OurLexical Restructuring Model (Metsala & Walley1998), which is consistent with the secondposition, focuses on the role of vocabularygrowth in prompting the implementation of morefine-grained, segmental representations forlexical items in childhood; this restructuringis viewed as an important precursor to theexplicit segmentation or phoneme awarenessskills implicated in early reading success.Empirical evidence that supports this model issummarized, including preliminary results fromone of our most recent studies. Severalsuggestions are made for future research thatwill lead to a better understanding of thedevelopment of spoken word recognition and thelinks between speech- and reading-relatedabilities.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2004
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