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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."

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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: Knowledge of context sensitive spellings as a component of spelling competence: Evidence from Danish
Author: Holger Juul
Institution: University of Copenhagen
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Danish
Abstract: Spelling performances in 104 Danish children from Grades 4 to 6 were compared across three levels of orthographic transparency. At the first level all spellings that were plausible at the level of the single phoneme were accepted. At the second level spellings were accepted only if they were plausible when the phonological context was considered (context sensitive spellings). At the third level word-specific spelling accuracy was required. There were 16 word items per level, matched for structure and frequency. Scores for context sensitive spellings were intermediate between scores at the phonemic level and the word-specific level, both for vowel and consonant spellings. Scores for context sensitive vowels and consonants were significantly interrelated even when performances at the phonemic and word-specific levels were controlled. The results demonstrate that Danish spellers beyond the initial phases of literacy development rely on phonological entities larger than the single phoneme. They extend similar findings from English in suggesting that knowledge of context sensitive spellings is a separate component of spelling competence.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 26, Issue 2.

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