Reading and Writing

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 995–1019 | Cite as

Amplitude envelope perception, phonology and prosodic sensitivity in children with developmental dyslexia

  • Usha GoswamiEmail author
  • Danielle Gerson
  • Luisa Astruc


Here we explore relations between auditory perception of amplitude envelope structure, prosodic sensitivity, and phonological awareness in a sample of 56 typically-developing children and children with developmental dyslexia. We examine whether rise time sensitivity is linked to prosodic sensitivity, and whether prosodic sensitivity is linked to phonological awareness. Prosodic sensitivity was measured by two reiterant speech tasks modelled on Kitzen (2001). The children with developmental dyslexia were significantly impaired in the reiterant speech tasks and in the phonological awareness tasks (onset and rime awareness). There were significant predictive relations between basic auditory processing of amplitude envelope structure (in particular, rise time), prosodic sensitivity, phonological awareness, reading, and spelling. The auditory processing difficulties that characterise children with developmental dyslexia appear to impair their sensitivity to phrase-level prosodic cues such as metrical structure as well as to phonology, but in this study phonological and prosodic sensitivity made largely independent contributions to reading.


Amplitude envelope Prosody Phonology Dyslexia Reading Rhyme 



We would like to thank the head teacher, teachers, children and parents of the schools who participated in this study. This research was supported by funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), grant RES-000-23-0475, awarded to Usha Goswami. Requests for reprints should be addressed to Usha Goswami, Centre for Neuroscience in Education, 184 Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 8PQ, UK.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Neuroscience in EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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