Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Children like Dense Neighborhoods: Orthographic Neighborhood Density Effects in Novel Readers

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Children like Dense Neighborhoods: Orthographic Neighborhood Density Effects in Novel Readers

Article excerpt

Previous evidence with English beginning readers suggests that some orthographic effects, such as the orthographic neighborhood density effects, could be stronger for children than for adults. Particularly, children respond more accurately to words with many orthographic neighbors than to words with few neighbors. The magnitude of the effects for children is much higher than for adults, and some researchers have proposed that these effects could be progressively modulated according to reading expertise. The present paper explores in depth how children from 1st to 6th grade perform a lexical decision with words that are from dense or sparse orthographic neighborhoods, attending not only to accuracy measures, but also to response latencies, through a computer-controlled task. Our results reveal that children (like adults) show clear neighborhood density effects, and that these effects do not seem to depend on reading expertise. Contrarily to previous claims, the present work shows that orthographic neighborhood effects are not progressively modulated by reading skill. Further, these data strongly support the idea of a general language-independent preference for using the lexical route instead of grapheme-to-phoneme conversions, even in beginning readers. The implications of these results for developmental models in reading and for models in visual word recognition and orthographic encoding are discussed.

Keywords: lexical access; reading development; orthographic neighborhood; density effect

La investigación previa con lectores principiantes de ingles sugiere que algunos efectos ortográficos, tales como los efectos de la densidad (vecindad ortográfica), podrían ser más fuertes para los niños que para los adultos. En especial, los niños responden con mayor precisión a las palabras con muchos vecinos ortográficos que a las palabras con pocos vecinos. La magnitud de los efectos para los niños es mucho más alta que para los adultos, y algunos investigadores han propuesto que estos efectos podrían modularse progresivamente en función de la competencia lectora. Este estudio explora en profundidad cómo los niños de 1? a 6? curso llevan a cabo una decisión léxica con las palabras procedentes de vecindades ortográficas densas o escasas, atendiendo no sólo a las medidas de precisión sino también a las latencias de respuesta, mediante una tarea controlada por ordenador. Nuestros resultados revelan que los niños (como los adultos) muestran claros efectos de densidad (vecindad ortográfica), y que dichos efectos no parecen depender de la competencia lectora. Al contrario de observaciones previas, el trabajo actual muestra que los efectos de vecindad ortográfica no se modulan progresivamente según la competencia lectora. Además, estos datos claramente apoyan la idea de la preferencia por la ruta léxica, que no depende del lenguaje, en vez de las conversiones grafema-a-fonema, incluso en lectores principiantes. Se comentan las implicaciones de estos resultados para los modelos evolutivos de la lectura y para los modelos de reconocimiento visual de las palabras y la codificación ortográfica.

Palabras clave: acceso léxico, evolución lectora, vecindad ortográfica, efecto de densidad

How does a reader access the meaning of a visually presented single word? For decades, researchers in psycholinguistics have been attempting to shed light on this issue. By now, what seems clear is that there are various processes that occur (or co-occur) when a reader faces a printed word: Letter position and identity encoding (e.g., Grainger, Granier, Farioli, Van Assche, & van Heuven, 2006), affix stripping and morphological decomposition (e.g., Duñabeitia, Perea, & Carreiras, 2007; Frost, Kugler, Deustch, & Forster, 2005), lexeme processing (e.g., Pollatsek, Hyönä, & Bertram, 2000) and semantic integration (e.g., Shelton & Martin, 1992), among others. However, it still unknown to what extent orthographic processes interact with morphological or semantic processes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.