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Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from an incidental learning experiment with children

Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from an incidental learning experiment with children

Samara, Anna ORCID: 0000-0001-6503-5181, Singh, Daniela and Wonnacott, Elizabeth (2018) Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from an incidental learning experiment with children. Cognition, 182. pp. 25-30. ISSN 0010-0277 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.09.005)

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Abstract

Statistical learning processes–akin to those seen in spoken language acquisition (Saffran et al., 1996)–may be important for the development of literacy, particularly spelling development. One previous study provides direct evidence for this process: Samara and Caravolas (2014) demonstrated that 7-year-olds generalize over permissible letter contexts (graphotactics) in novel word-like stimuli under incidental learning conditions. However, unlike in actual orthography, conditioning contexts in Samara and Caravolas’ (2014) stimuli comprised perfectly correlated, redundant cues in both word-initial and word-final positions. The current study explores whether 7-year-olds can extract such constraints in the absence of redundant cues. Since theories of literacy development predict greater sensitivity to restrictions within word-final units, we also contrast learning in word-initial and word-final units. We demonstrate that–for 7-year-old learners in two linguistic contexts (English and Turkish)–there is substantial evidence for the learning of both types of restriction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Statistical learning; Spelling; Graphotactic restrictions; Incidental learning; Word-final units; Bayes factors
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 01:38
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/25125

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