Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Effects of onset density in preschool children: Implications for development of phonological awareness and phonological representation
Author: Judith G. Foy
Institution: Loyola Marymount University
Author: Virginia A. Mann
Institution: University of California, Irvine
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Neighborhood density influences adult performance on several word processing tasks. Some studies show age-related effects of density on children's performance, reflecting a developmental restructuring of the mental lexicon from holistic into segmental representations that may play a role in phonological awareness. To further investigate density effects and their implications for development of phonological awareness, we compared performance on dense and sparse onset words. We adapted these materials to three phonological awareness tests that were pretested on adults then administered to preschool children who were expected to vary in phonological awareness skills. For both the adults and the children who passed a phonological awareness screening task, dense onset neighborhoods were associated with slower reaction times and increased errors. A separate comparison of word repetition by the children who passed and who did not pass the phoneme awareness screening failed to provide evidence that lexical restructuring was a sufficient condition for the attainment of phonological awareness. Both groups of children more accurately repeated words from high onset density neighborhoods, regardless of the level of their phonological awareness. Thus, we find no evidence of either age- or ability-driven effects in children's performance, contradictory to a view that the attainment of phoneme awareness relates to developmental changes in the segmental representation of words in dense neighborhoods.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 30, Issue 2.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page