The development of children’s sensitivity to bigram frequencies when spelling in Spanish, a transparent writing system

The development of children’s sensitivity to bigram frequencies when spelling in Spanish, a... The aim of this study was to collect data concerning the sensitivity of 2nd–6th grade Spanish-speaking children towards orthographic regularities. In a first experiment, children were asked to spell words that begin with /b/, a sound that is inconsistently spelled b or v, depending on the lexeme. Low frequency words were used to reduce the use of lexical information in spelling. In Spanish, the frequency of graphemes b and v depends on the following vowel; for example, in initial position, the bigram vi is more frequent than bi while vu is less frequent than bu. Evidence concerning the use of sublexical regularities in English and French—opaque orthographic systems—is already available. The question was whether such knowledge also applies in a more transparent system like Spanish, in which a phonologically based strategy is quite efficient. The main finding was that participants’ spelling strongly depended on the relative frequency of bigrams. This was already evident in second graders’ spelling and increased with schooling. In Experiment 2 these results were confirmed using pseudo-words. The results exclude a functional view of spelling, which supposes that orthographic resources are not used to spell in consistent orthographic systems, since phonologically based mechanisms are sufficient to override any others. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

The development of children’s sensitivity to bigram frequencies when spelling in Spanish, a transparent writing system

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Linguistics; Languages and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education (general); Neurology; Interdisciplinary Studies
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-013-9459-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim of this study was to collect data concerning the sensitivity of 2nd–6th grade Spanish-speaking children towards orthographic regularities. In a first experiment, children were asked to spell words that begin with /b/, a sound that is inconsistently spelled b or v, depending on the lexeme. Low frequency words were used to reduce the use of lexical information in spelling. In Spanish, the frequency of graphemes b and v depends on the following vowel; for example, in initial position, the bigram vi is more frequent than bi while vu is less frequent than bu. Evidence concerning the use of sublexical regularities in English and French—opaque orthographic systems—is already available. The question was whether such knowledge also applies in a more transparent system like Spanish, in which a phonologically based strategy is quite efficient. The main finding was that participants’ spelling strongly depended on the relative frequency of bigrams. This was already evident in second graders’ spelling and increased with schooling. In Experiment 2 these results were confirmed using pseudo-words. The results exclude a functional view of spelling, which supposes that orthographic resources are not used to spell in consistent orthographic systems, since phonologically based mechanisms are sufficient to override any others.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 27, 2013

References

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