Vera Heyer | Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism
In alphabetic writing systems, the most consistent correspondences hold between written and spoken segments. Although English spelling uses the Roman alphabet and is thus largely phonographic, it also encodes non-phonological distinctions such as those among homophonic words (e.g., pair, pare, pear). We review evidence that English spelling is to some extent morphographic at the level of suffixes: some suffixes (e.g. -s and -ed) have a single constant spelling (‹-s› and ‹ed›), despite the fact that they vary in phonological realization (-s is realized as [z], [s], or [əz], depending on the preceding segment); while other suffixes (e.g. ‑ic) are spelled differently from homophonous word-final phonological sequences (e.g. ‹relic› vs. ‹relick›). We explore the implications of our research for psycholinguistic findings on morphological processing of written English, with a special focus on ‘affix stripping’ processes. Psycholinguistic research has largely assumed the straightforward linguistic validity of morphographic spelling, without appreciating either its typologically unusual nature or the subtle and complex relation that it bears to morphology, phonology, and semantics.
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Cited by 13 other publications
Bar-On, Amalia & Victor Kuperman
2019. Spelling errors respect morphology: a corpus study of Hebrew orthography. Reading and Writing 32:5 ► pp. 1107 ff.
2018. Morphological Strategy. In Understanding and Teaching English Spelling, ► pp. 185 ff.
Ciaccio, Laura Anna, Gunnar Jacob & Niels O. Schiller
2019. Native speakers like affixes, L2 speakers like letters? An overt visual priming study investigating the role of orthography in L2 morphological processing. PLOS ONE 14:12 ► pp. e0226482 ff.
Ciaccio, Laura Anna, Naledi Kgolo & Harald Clahsen
2020. Morphological decomposition in Bantu: a masked priming study on Setswana prefixation. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience 35:10 ► pp. 1257 ff.
Dal Maso, Serena & Hélène Giraudo
2019. On the interplay between family and series effects in morphological masked priming. Morphology 29:2 ► pp. 293 ff.
2021. Below the surface: The application of implicit morpho-graphic regularities to novel word spelling. Morphology 31:3 ► pp. 243 ff.
Heyer, Vera & Dana Kornishova
2018. Semantic transparency affects morphological priming . . . eventually. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 71:5 ► pp. 1112 ff.
Seyfarth, Scott, Jozina Vander Klok & Marc Garellek
2019. Evidence against interactive effects on articulation in Javanese verb paradigms. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 26:5 ► pp. 1690 ff.
Shalhoub-Awwad, Yasmin & Ravit Cohen-Mimran
2023. On the role of morphology in early spelling in Hebrew and Arabic. Morphology
Treiman, Rebecca, Sloane Wolter & Brett Kessler
2021. How sensitive are adults to the role of morphology in spelling?. Morphology 31:3 ► pp. 261 ff.
Yablonski, Maya & Michal Ben-Shachar
2020. Sensitivity to word structure in adult Hebrew readers is associated with microstructure of the ventral reading pathways. Cortex 128 ► pp. 234 ff.
Yablonski, Maya, Kathleen Rastle, J.S.H. Taylor & Michal Ben-Shachar
2019. Structural properties of the ventral reading pathways are associated with morphological processing in adult English readers. Cortex 116 ► pp. 268 ff.
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