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Spelling nonwords : effects of sentence context, target consonant position and age group


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Marsh, NJ 2015 , 'Spelling nonwords : effects of sentence context, target consonant position and age group', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Written English is complex, as one sound can often be spelt in several ways (e.g., /f/
is most commonly spelt as f, and less commonly as ph or gh). This study investigated
whether participants would choose the more common spelling of target consonants in
nonwords presented in a sentence with a familiar rather than unfamiliar context.
Further, it was predicted that this effect would be stronger for adults than children,
and that adults would choose the more common spelling more often for target
consonants at the end than beginning of nonwords (and vice versa for children).
Forty-five adults and 56 children (Grades 4-5) completed a nonword spelling choice
task in which the sentence context was either familiar or unfamiliar and the
nonword’s target consonant was in the word-initial or word-final position. Results
revealed that more common spellings were chosen significantly more often when
presented in familiar than unfamiliar sentences, and in the word-final than wordinitial
position. Although no interaction between sentence context and age was
found, adults chose the more common spelling significantly more often than
children. This research is the first to reveal a higher-level contextual influence on the
use of spelling patterns. Implications for classroom teaching are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Marsh, NJ
Keywords: Spelling, children, adults, sentence context, nonwords
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 the author

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