Reading and Writing

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 69–85

Theoretical links among naming speed, precise timing mechanisms and orthographic skill in dyslexia

  • Patricia Greig Bowers
  • Maryanne Wolf

DOI: 10.1007/BF01026919

Cite this article as:
Bowers, P.G. & Wolf, M. Read Writ (1993) 5: 69. doi:10.1007/BF01026919


In this paper, we review several lines of convergent research to discuss the relationship between developmental dyslexia and slow symbol naming speed. We describe the interactive development of orthographic and phonological codes, and we discuss the methodological problems that may have led to underestimating the importance of individual differences in orthographic processing in our account of reading disabilities. Symbol naming speed is typically subsumed under phonological processing, yet it contributes variance to reading, especially to reading fluency, independently of phonological awareness. We speculate that naming speed may reflect precise timing mechanisms necessary to the development of orthographic codes and to their integration with phonological codes. We argue that an understanding of this precise timing dimension is necessary to incorporate in our models of phonological, orthographic, and semantic processes in reading acquisition and reading failure.

Key words

Dyslexia Naming speed Orthography Phonology Reading 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Greig Bowers
    • 1
  • Maryanne Wolf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Tufts UniversityUSA