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Atrocious spelling and language awareness

Current literature on spelling strategies has indicated that successful spellers use phonological and morphological information as well as graphemic memory in their spelling. Research into spelling disorders has uncovered two broad categories of poor spellers: Phonetically Inaccurate spellers, whose spelling errors are phonetically
unrelated to the target and who also exhibit a generalized language impairment and Phonetically Accurate spellers, whose errors are phonetically plausible and who have no obvious neurological impairment. This study intended to investigate some of the organizational and language abilities of those children known as Phonetically Accurate or Atrocious spellers. The hypothesis was that Atrocious spellers have inadequate knowledge of the phonological and morphological rules necessary for correct spelling. Three phonological processes were under examinations Palatalization, Velar Softening and Stress Shift, Test items incorporated one or more of these processes. Subjects performed three spelling tasks two written spelling tasks with oral presentation of the item and one spelling task without auditory model and three language tasks. The first, Suffixation, required subjects to pronounce real and nonsense words derived from a root word and affix. Subjects also judged relatedness of word pairs and learned nonsense words which either did or did not employ the target processes correctly.
Because of the "partial cue" reading method employed by the subjects, it was impossible to determine their knowledge of phonology through the Suffixation task. However, the data gave rise to some interesting considerations. Review of the historical development of spelling suggested possible parallels between synchronic and diachronic development of spelling. Poor handwriting was linked to poor spelling and a rationale was proposed. Several instances of motor perseveration of writing were noted, suggesting that for these cases, the stimulus of the motor pattern was stronger than an auditory model. Some evidence for word recall problems appeared; a confrontation naming task would determine whether the incidence of word finding difficulties is higher in Atrocious spellers than in proficient spellers, Errors in affixation led to further questioning of subjects' morphological competence. Atrocious and good spellers employed a spelling strategy known as "sounding out" with varying degrees of proficiency. The question was then raised of how strongly spelling errors were influenced by the speller's dialect of spoken language. Most notably, nearly all test subjects favoured an auditory over a visual strategy when they were unsure of spelling. This translation from morpheme to phoneme string and then to grapheme string was felt to be developmentally an earlier stage than a direct translation from morpheme to grapheme. / Medicine, Faculty of / Audiology and Speech Sciences, School of / Graduate
Date January 1982
CreatorsRally, Anne Marie
Source SetsUniversity of British Columbia
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, Thesis/Dissertation
RightsFor non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use

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