Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Phonemes: are linguistically interpreted sounds, which are combined respectively for a language in a system and which have the potential to change the meaning of a larger phonetic unit in which they occur. E.g. red/dead. As pure sound events, these smallest sound units are called phones.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Item Summary Meta data
Slater I 137
Phonemes/reading acquisition/cultural psychology: The rate of development of phoneme awareness varies markedly across languages (Ziegler & Goswami, 2005)(1). Two factors appear to be particularly important in explaining cross-language variation: the phonological complexity of syllable structures in different languages, and the orthographic consistency of the written form of the language. Most languages in the world have syllables with a simple phonological structure. In these languages, the dominant syllable type is consonant-vowel or CV. In languages like Italian, Finnish, and Spanish, most words are made up of syllables with this pattern, for example “Mamma,” “pizza,” and “casa” (Italian, house). In spoken English, the dominant monosyllable type is CVC.
Orthographic consistency is the other cross-language factor that affects the development of phonological awareness. In many alphabetic languages, there is 1:1 consistency between letters and sounds. The same letter always corresponds to the same sound, or phoneme. Examples of highly consistent writing systems are Finnish, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, and Welsh. In other alphabetic languages, there is a 1:many correspondence between letters and sounds. The same letter can correspond to more than one sound. Examples are French, Danish, English, and Portuguese.
Slater I 138
Perhaps unsurprisingly given these factors, English children learn to recode letters to sound fairly slowly in comparison to children who are learning to read other languages (Seymour, Aro, & Erskine, 2003)(2).


1. Ziegler, C., and Goswami, U. (2005). Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: A psycholinguistic grain size theory. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 3–29.
2. Seymour, P. H. K., Aro, M., & Erskine, J. M. (2003). Foundation literacy acquisition in European orthographies. British Journal of Psychology, 94, 143–174.



Usha Goswami, „Reading and Spelling.Revisiting Bradley and Bryant’s Study“ in: Alan M. Slater & Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Cultural Psychology
Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012


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