5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

The Role Of Phonological, Morphological, And Orthographic Knowledge In The Intuitive Syllabification Of Dutch Words: A Longitudinal Approach

Dominiek Sandra, Steven Gillis

University of Antwerp, Belgium

Children of three different ages (five, eight, and ten years old) were asked to syllabify a list of auditorily presented words. The list composition was such that the effect of different knowledge sources on the children's intuitive syllabification could be assessed: the relative importance of language-universal versus language-specific phonological constraints, the effect of morphological complexity, and the effect of orthographic knowledge. The results indicate that five-year old children are already aware of language-specific constraints and are sensitive to the phonological distinction between continuant and non-continuant consonants. Literate children (eight and ten years old) are influenced in their syllabification behavior by their orthographic knowledge, i.e. once children have reached the literate stage it is difficult for them to separate phonological and orthographic knowledge in this phonological task. Finally, children in all three age groups did not syllabify singulars differently than phonologically closely matched plurals.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sandra, Dominiek / Gillis, Steven (1998): "The role of phonological, morphological, and orthographic knowledge in the intuitive syllabification of dutch words: a longitudinal approach", In ICSLP-1998, paper 1106.