A cross-sectional study tested Danish students' mastery of links between grammar and spelling (cf. the English link between past tense verbs and the -ed spelling for a word final /t/, e.g., miss ed vs. mis t). One hundred and forty-two students aged 10–17 spelled pseudo-word items with ambiguous phonemes, where the choice between a 'conditional' spelling (cf. English ed for /t/) and a simple spelling (cf. t for /t/) was predictable from the grammatical context but not from the sound. Overgeneralisations (conditional spellings used where simple spellings were appropriate) were controlled to obtain pure measures of grammatical spelling competence. The oldest group of participants performed near ceiling on four of five spelling problems studied while three younger groups in the experiment never did. The nature of the apparent grammatical hurdle in Danish spelling acquisition is discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 30, 2004
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