Are Syllabification and Resyllabification Strategies Phonotactically Directed in French Children With Dyslexia? A Preliminary Report PurposeIn this study, the authors queried whether French-speaking children with dyslexia were sensitive to consonant sonority and position within syllable boundaries to influence a phonological syllable-based segmentation in silent reading.MethodParticipants included 15 French-speaking children with dyslexia, compared with 30 chronological age–matched and reading level–matched controls. Children were tested with an ... Research Note
Research Note  |   April 01, 2012
Are Syllabification and Resyllabification Strategies Phonotactically Directed in French Children With Dyslexia? A Preliminary Report
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Norbert Maïonchi-Pino
    Université Lyon 2, Lyon, France
  • Bruno de Cara
    Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France
  • Jean Écalle
    Université Lyon 2, Lyon, France
  • Annie Magnan
    Université Lyon 2, Lyon, France
  • Correspondence to Norbert Maïonchi-Pino, who is now at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan: mpinonor@gmail.com
  • Annie Magnan is now also affiliated with the Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France.
    Annie Magnan is now also affiliated with the Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France.×
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Susan Rvachew
    Associate Editor: Susan Rvachew×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Research Note   |   April 01, 2012
Are Syllabification and Resyllabification Strategies Phonotactically Directed in French Children With Dyslexia? A Preliminary Report
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 435-446. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0286)
History: Received October 13, 2010 , Revised January 31, 2011 , Accepted July 14, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 435-446. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0286)
History: Received October 13, 2010; Revised January 31, 2011; Accepted July 14, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

PurposeIn this study, the authors queried whether French-speaking children with dyslexia were sensitive to consonant sonority and position within syllable boundaries to influence a phonological syllable-based segmentation in silent reading.

MethodParticipants included 15 French-speaking children with dyslexia, compared with 30 chronological age–matched and reading level–matched controls. Children were tested with an audiovisual recognition task. A target pseudoword (TOLPUDE) was simultaneously presented visually and auditorily and then was compared with a printed test pseudoword that either was identical or differed after the coda deletion (TOPUDE) or the onset deletion (TOLUDE). The intervocalic consonant sequences had either a sonorant coda–sonorant onset (TOR.LADE), sonorant coda–obstruent onset (TOL.PUDE), obstruent coda–sonorant onset (DOT.LIRE), or obstruent coda–obstruent onset (BIC.TADE) sonority profile.

ResultsAll children processed identity better than they processed deletion, especially with the optimal sonorant coda–obstruent onset sonority profile. However, children preserved syllabification (coda deletion; TO.PUDE) rather than resyllabification (onset deletion; TO.LUDE) with intervocalic consonant sequence reductions, especially when sonorant codas were deleted but the optimal intersyllable contact was respected.

ConclusionsIt was surprising to find that although children with dyslexia generally exhibit phonological and acoustic–phonetic impairments (voicing), they showed sensitivity to the optimal sonority profile and a preference for preserved syllabification. The authors proposed a sonority-modulated explanation to account for phonological syllable-based processing. Educational implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this article was partly supported by the French Ministry for Research via a PhD Grant awarded to Norbert Maïonchi-Pino. We thank Catherine Billard, Sonia Krifi, and Vania Herbillon (neuropsychologists); Évelyne Veuillet for providing us assistance with the children with dyslexia; and Sarah Michael for proofreading. We are grateful to the head teachers, teachers, and children who participated in this study.
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