Morphological Processing Before and During Children’s Spelling

Helen L. Breadmore, S. Hélène Deacon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Our understanding of spelling development has largely been gleaned from analysis of children’s accuracy at spelling words under varying conditions and the nature of their errors. Here, we consider whether handwriting durations can inform us about the time course with which children use morphological information to produce accurate spellings of root morphemes. Six- to 7-year-old (n = 23) and 8- to 11-year-old (n = 25) children produced 28 target spellings in a spelling-to-dictation task. Target words were matched quadruplets of base, control, inflected, and derived words beginning with the same letters (e.g., rock, rocket, rocking, rocky). Both groups of children showed evidence of morphological processing as they prepared their spelling; writing onset latencies were shorter for two-morpheme words than control words. The findings are consistent with statistical learning theories of spelling development and theories of lexical quality that include a role of morphology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)178-191
    JournalScientific Studies of Reading
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


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