Reading in an Alphasyllabary: Implications for a Language Universal Theory of Learning to Read
Nag S., Snowling MJ.
We report the associations between phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge in readers of alphasyllabic Kannada. Less fluent 9- to 12-year-olds with lower orthographic knowledge were at floor on phoneme tasks, but more fluent readers, with greater orthographic knowledge, showed significant phonemic awareness. Orthographic knowledge, phoneme awareness, and RAN were independent predictors of reading rate and, together with syllable awareness, predicted individual differences in reading accuracy. Taken together, we suggest that increasing alphasyllabic literacy promotes a dual representation at the syllable and phoneme level and that the analytic processes involved in acquiring orthographic knowledge and mappings with phonology are a universal aspect of reading development across languages. © 2012 Copyright Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.