Hyperlexia is a syndrome of reading without meaning in individuals who otherwise have pronounced cognitive and language deficits. The present study investigated the quality of word representation and the effects of deficient semantic processing on word and nonword reading of Korean children with hyperlexia; their performances were compared to those of typical children matched for their word-recognition abilities. In Study 1, both groups of children were tested on their ability to read word-like nonwords (nonsense words that are generated from real words). Typical children showed slower read-aloud times when reading word-like nonwords compared to real words; children with hyperlexia showed no significant differences between the two types of words. These results suggest that typical children were disrupted by information from the baseword (e.g., ‘self’) on which the nonword is based (e.g., ‘melf’) when reading word-like nonwords, whereas children with hyperlexia were not interrupted by such information. In Study 2, the same two groups were compared on their word reading performances between semantically related picture-word versus semantically unrelated picture-word pairs. Typical children read more slowly the words preceded by semantically related pictures than the words preceded by semantically unrelated pictures; children with hyperlexia read both picture-word pairs at a comparable rate. These results imply that, during word reading, typical children were affected by semantic information from the preceding picture unlike children with hyperlexia who were not influenced by the preceding semantic information. These findings from Study 1 and Study 2 are discussed in relation to the connectionist models of reading.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2014
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