Reading and Writing

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 105-119

First online:

Phonological spelling errors in the writing of dyslexic adolescents

  • Louisa C. MoatsAffiliated withUpper Valley Associates in Psychology Email author 

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Spelling researchers in the past have disagreed about the meaning of spelling errors for the diagnosis of dyslexia. Many studies have reported that spelling errors of individuals with dyslexia are similar to those of younger children but that they are not deviant or unusual. In this study, spelling errors from the spontaneous writing of 19 adolescents with a history of reading problems and persistent spelling difficulties were analyzed. The poorer spellers in this group made more errors than the better spellers on certain phonological and morphophonological constructions. Specifically, the poorer spellers made a disproportionately large number of errors in their representation of liquid and nasal consonants, especially after vowels, and their spellings of inflections -ed and -s. Even though poor spellers might eventually learn to spell with reasonable phonetic accuracy, their spelling appears to be marked by persistent, intractable difficulties representing specific phonological and morphophonological features of words.

Key words

Adolescents Dyslexia Morphophonology Phonology Spelling