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Title: The case for synchronic orthographic primacy : the effect of literacy on phonological processing
Author: Montgomery, Scott A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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Orthographic interference on the phonological system has been documented by linguists for over a century, usually in the form of Spelling Pronunciation. This repeated observation of orthographic influence has not, however, resulted in orthography being admitted into the avenues of general linguistic study; rather it has become a controversial and problematic issue due to the apparent implausibility that the "man-made" writing system could possibly affect the "natural" phonological system. However, the very occurrence of such interference requires that the mechanisms involved are adequately accounted for, which previous studies in the area have not achieved. The purpose of this thesis is to establish the motivations behind the observed interference through examination of literacy attainment and its influence on the development of a speaker's phonological system from early literacy to full literacy. Chapter 1 sets the background for the study, with an examination of various studies, from Saussure to the present day, which observe orthographic influence in the phonological system. Here the main issues of the topic which are discussed in the following chapters are introduced. This chapter also highlights the general linguistic attitudes to the controversial issue of orthographic influence on the phonology. Chapter 2 explores the pre-literate phonological system and its development towards adulthood. Following this, an examination of reading strategies and abilities in children from pre-literacy to full literacy is undertaken. This allows direct comparison of how the process of learning to read relates to phonological development. On the basis of this comparison (and the status of an illiterate adult's phonological system) the conclusion drawn is that alphabetical literacy is the most likely source of phonological development to the segmental level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available