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Title: The impact of frequency, consistency, and semantics on reading aloud : an artificial orthography learning paradigm
Author: Taylor, Jo S. H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 4994
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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Five experiments explored how we learn to read and recognise words with typical and atypical spelling-sound mappings and to generalize to novel words. In Experiment 1, adults learned to read pseudowords with typical or atypical pronunciations. There was some evidence that prior exposure to word meanings enhanced orthographic learning. However, interpretation was clouded by stimulus control problems that plague research using natural alphabets. In Experiment 2, an artificial orthography paradigm was developed to overcome these problems. Adults learned to read novel words written in novel symbols. Post-training, they could generalize, indicating extraction of individual symbol sounds. The frequency and predictability of symbol-sound mappings influenced learning and generalization, mirroring natural language findings. Experiment 3 found extended training to improve item recognition and generalization. In Experiment 4, pre-exposure to item sounds plus an object referent vs. item sounds provided equivalent benefit for orthographic learning. By the end of training, this was limited to items with low frequency unpredictable symbol-sound mappings. In Experiment 5, pre-exposure to novel definitions enhanced orthographic learning more than pre-exposure to item sounds, but by the end of training, both conditions were again equally beneficial.
Supervisor: Nation, Kate ; Plunkett, Kim Sponsor: Medical Research Council ; Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cognition ; Experimental psychology ; Learning ; Language and cognitive development ; lexical phonology ; statistical learning ; semantics ; reading ; artificial orthography