Reading and Writing

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 9–22 | Cite as

Acquisition of reading and written spelling in a transparent orthography: Two non parallel processes?

  • Giuseppe Cossu
  • Maria Gugliotta
  • John C. Marshall


Reading and written spelling skills for words and non-words of varying length and orthographic complexity were investigated in normal Italian first and second graders. The regularity and transparency of the mapping between letters and phonemes make Italian orthography an unlikely candidate for discrepancies between reading and spelling to emerge. This notwithstanding, the results showed that reading accuracy is significantly better than spelling. The difference is particularly striking in first graders, but it is still evident in 2nd graders, though most strongly on non-words. The data show that reading and written spelling are non parallel processes and that the developmental asynchrony reflects a partial structural independence of the two systems.

Key words

Reading acquisition Spelling Transparent orthography 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Cossu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Gugliotta
    • 1
  • John C. Marshall
    • 2
  1. 1.Servizio di Neuropsichiatria InfantileUniversità di ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Neuropsychology UnitUniversity Department of Clinical NeurologyOxfordUK

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