Sources of Information Children Use in Learning to Spell: The Case of Finnish Geminates

Authored by: Annukka Lehtonen

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

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

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


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Two experiments were designed to investigate the ways in which children use orthographic, phonological, and morphological information in spelling double consonants (geminates) in Finnish. In the first experiment, children had to choose out of two pseudo-word spellings the one that looked more like a real word on the basis of orthographic or phonological information. In the second experiment, children spelled real words containing target consonant clusters in either word stems or inflections. The results showed that even children just starting school were able to use orthographic information to their advantage in spelling, whereas phonological aspects of spelling rules were acquired only later on. During the first school year also the use of morphological information began to emerge. Thus children seem to use multiple kinds of information in spelling from very early on.

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