Phonological development in children with dyslexia: Characteristics of early word productions

Date of Completion

January 2003


Language, Linguistics|Psychology, Developmental




As phonological processing difficulties appear to be a central feature related to dyslexia, researchers have postulated that one force at work may be an underlying phonological representation that is ‘fuzzy’ or incomplete (Fowler, 1998). Children's ability to use complex constructions (e.g. consonant clusters), as well as their ability to employ a repertoire of consonants in a variety of phonological neighborhoods may reflect increasing differentiated phonological repertoire at 30 months of age compared with normally reading age-matched controls. In addition, the present study extended Scarborough's (1990) findings by examining the intelligibility of dyslexic children's productions and by measuring specific phonological features of the consonants produced in words. The design was retrospective, in that children identified as dyslexic in the early school years were compared with normally reading control children on speech samples obtained when the children were 30 months of age. Findings indicated that the children who were later identified as dyslexic produced a reduced diversity of lexical tokens, fewer multisyllabic words, increased unintelligibility and curtailed contextual use of phonemes. These results support the claim that phonological representations in this group are impaired. ^