The effects of orthographic the depth of learning to read alphabetic, syllabic, and logographic scripts

Nick Ellis, Miwa Natsume, Katerina Stavropoulou, Lorenc Hoxhallari, Victor Van Daal, Nicoletta Polyzoe, Matia-Louisa Tsipa, Michalis Petalas

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126 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of orthographic depth on reading acquisition in alphabetic, syllabic, and logographic scripts. Children between 6 and 15 years old read aloud in transparent syllabic Japanese hiragana, alphabets of increasing orthographic depth (Albanian, Greek, English), and orthographically opaque Japanese kanji ideograms, with items being matched cross-linguistically for word frequency. This study analyzed response accuracy, latency, and error types. Accuracy correlated with depth: Hiragana was read more accurately than, in turn, Albanian, Greek, English, and kanji. The deeper the orthography, the less latency was a function of word length, the greater the proportion of errors that were no-responses, and the more the substantive errors tended to be whole-word substitutions rather than nonword mispronunciations. Orthographic depth thus affected both rate and strategy of reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-468
JournalReading Research Quarterly
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2004

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