Word Reading in Bulgarian Children and Adults

Authored by: Armina Janyan , Elena Andonova

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805846522
eBook ISBN: 9780203824719
Adobe ISBN: 9781136781353

10.4324/9780203824719.ch17

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Abstract

This chapter addresses developmental differences in single-word reading in terms of vocal response times and the impact of different word characteristics on processing in the orthographically transparent Bulgarian language. A comparison of results of studies of adults and children (8-9 years of age) showed that children's word reading was equally dependent on sublexical and experiential-conceptual word characteristics, whereas adults' processing rate was predicted by experiential-conceptual and semantic word characteristics without much influence from sublexical word properties. The results demonstrated that reading development and linguistic experience have a strong impact on word processing. Correlation and factor analyses indicated theoretically and methodologically important issues. In particular, word frequency appeared to be related to conceptual characteristics of the word's referent whereas object familiarity may represent a conceptual and experiential characteristic that correlates with semantic and lexical properties of a word. Finally, the study underscored the usefulness of multivariate analyses and the inclusion of a large number of word characteristics at different levels of word structure that serve to enhance our understanding of the peculiarities of processing in single-word-reading tasks.

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