The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between children’s knowledge of letter-sound rules (“grapheme-phoneme knowledge”) and their ability to identify separate graphemes (e.g., SH, OI) that comprise words (“grapheme parsing”). We used a single-case study approach with children with phonological dyslexia who were able to read words accurately via whole-word processes (“lexical reading”), but were not able to read using grapheme-phoneme knowledge (“non-lexical reading”). These children were able to correctly parse some graphemes without grapheme-phoneme knowledge for these graphemes. However, they were unable to correctly parse some graphemes for which they had grapheme-phoneme knowledge. This dissociation suggests that children may acquire grapheme-phoneme knowledge and phoneme parsing independently. We discuss the implications of these findings for cognitive models of word reading.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
While both DRC and CDP+ are computational implementations of dual-route theory, we note that they differ in their architecture and particularly in the way in which graphemes are translated into phonemes. For DRC, this process is rule-based and hard-wired into the model, whereas for CDP+ the process is statistical and must be learned by the model. Put in a different way, DRC uses a look-up procedure where there is a one-to-one relationship between graphemes and phonemes, while CDP+ uses a connectionist two-layer associative network to learn which graphemes are associated with which phonemes and thus, there is a many-to-many relationship between graphemes and phonemes.
Adams, C., Cooke, R., Crutchley, A., Hesketh, A., & Reeves, D. (2001). Assessment of comprehension and expression 6-11 (ACE6-11). Windsor: Nelson.
Beauvois, M. F., & Derouesné, J. (1979). Phonological dyslexia: Three dissociations. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 42(12), 1115–1124.
Berndt, R., Haendiges, A., Mitchum, C., & Wayland, S. (1996). An investigation of nonlexical reading impairments. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 13(6), 763–801. https://doi.org/10.1080/026432996381809.
Berndt, R., & Mitchum, C. (1994). Approaches to the rehabilitation of “phonological assembly”: Elaborating the model of nonlexical reading. In G. W. Humphreys & M. J. Riddoch (Eds.), Cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive rehabilitation (pp. 503–526). Hove: Erlbaum.
Brunsdon, R. K., Hannan, T. J., Nickels, L., & Coltheart, M. (2002). Successful treatment of sublexical reading deficits in a child with dyslexia of the mixed type. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 12(3), 199–229. https://doi.org/10.1080/09602010244000048.
Cassar, M., & Treiman, R. (1997). The beginnings of orthographic knowledge: Children’s knowledge of double letters in words. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(4), 631–644.
Castles, A., Coltheart, M., Larsen, L., Jones, P., Saunders, S., & McArthur, G. (2009). Assessing the basic components of reading: A revision of the Castles and Coltheart test with new norms. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 14(1), 67–88. https://doi.org/10.1080/19404150902783435.
Coltheart, M. (1985). Cognitive neuropsychology and the study of reading. In M. I. Posner & O. S. M. Marin (Eds.), Attention and performance XI (pp. 3–37). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Coltheart, M. (2006). Dual route and connectionist models of reading: An overview. London Review of Education, 4(1), 5–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110600574322.
Coltheart, M., Rastle, K., Perry, C., Langdon, R., & Ziegler, J. (2001). DRC: A dual route cascaded model of visual word recognition and reading aloud. Psychological Review, 108(1), 204–256. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.108.1.204.
Crawford, J. R., & Garthwaite, P. H. (2002). Investigation of the single case in neuropsychology: Confidence limits on the abnormality of test scores and test score differences. Neuropsychologia, 40(8), 1196–1208. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0028-3932(01)00224-X.
Crawford, J. R., & Garthwaite, P. H. (2005). Testing for suspected impairments and dissociations in single-case studies in neuropsychology: Evaluation of alternatives using Monte Carlo simulations and revised tests for dissociations. Neuropsychology, 19, 318–331. https://doi.org/10.1037/0894-4184.108.40.2068.
Derouesné, J., & Beauvois, M. F. (1985). The “phonemic” stage in the non-lexical reading process: Evidence from a case of phonological alexia. In K. E. Patterson, J. C. Marshall, & M. Coltheart (Eds.), Surface dyslexia: Neuropsychological and cognitive studies of phonological reading (pp. 399–458). London: Erlbaum.
Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, D. M. (2007). Peabody picture vocabulary test (4th ed.). Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson.
Frederiksen, J. R., & Kroll, J. F. (1976). Spelling and sound: Approaches to the internal lexicon. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2, 361–379. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-15220.127.116.111.
Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., & Kearns, D. M. (2011). Word and person effects on decoding accuracy: A new look at an old question. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 489–507. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023001.
Goodall, W. C., & Phillips, W. A. (1995). Three routes from print to sound: Evidence from a case of acquired dyslexia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 12(2), 113–147. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643299508251993.
Graham, S. (1980). Word recognition skills of learning disabled children and average students. Reading Psychology, 2, 23–33. https://doi.org/10.1080/0270271800020106.
Jones, M. N., & Mewhort, D. J. (2004). Case-sensitive letter and bigram frequency counts from large-scale English corpora. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 36(3), 388–396.
Kaufman, A., & Kaufman, N. (2004). Kaufman brief intelligence test 2. Circle Pines: AGS.
Korkman, M., Kirk, U., & Kemp, S. (1998). NEPSY: A developmental neuropsychological assessment. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.
Larsen, L., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., Castles, A., & McArthur, G. (2015). The letter-sound test (LeST): A reliable and valid comprehensive measure of grapheme-phoneme knowledge. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 20(2), 129–152. https://doi.org/10.1080/19404158.2015.1037323.
Laxon, V., Gallagher, A., & Masterson, J. (2002). The effects of familiarity, orthographic neighbourhood density, letter-length and graphemic complexity on children’s reading accuracy. British Journal of Psychology, 93(2), 269–287. https://doi.org/10.1348/000712602162580.
Marinus, E., Kohnen, S., & McArthur, G. (2013). Australian comparison data for the test of word reading efficiency. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 18(2), 199–212. https://doi.org/10.1080/19404158.2013.852981.
Mitchum, C. C., & Berndt, R. S. (1991). Diagnosis and treatment of the non-lexical route in acquired dyslexia: An illustration of the cognitive neuropsychological approach. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 6(2), 103–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/0911-6044(91)90003-2.
Newcombe, F., & Marshall, J. C. (1984). Varieties of acquired dyslexia: A linguistic approach. Seminars in Neurology, 4(2), 181–195.
Newcombe, F., & Marshall, J. C. (1985). Reading and writing by letter sounds. In K. E. Patterson & J. C. Marshall (Eds.), Surface dyslexia: Neuropsychological studies and cognitive studies of phonological reading. Hove: Erlbaum.
Patterson, K., & Marcel, A. (1992). PHONOLOGICAL alexia or phonological ALEXIA? In J. Alegria & D. Holender (Eds.), Analytic approaches to human cognition (pp. 259–274). Amsterdam: North Holland.
Perry, C., Ziegler, J. C., & Zorzi, M. (2007). Nested incremental modeling in the development of computational theories: The CDP+ model of reading aloud. Psychological Review, 114, 273–315. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033295X.114.2.273.
Plaut, D. C., McClelland, J. L., Seidenberg, M. S., & Patterson, K. (1996). Understanding normal and impaired word reading: Computational principles in quasi-regular domains. Psychological Review, 103(1), 56–115. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.103.1.56.
Pritchard, S. C., Coltheart, M., Palethorpe, S., & Castles, A. (2012). Nonword reading: Comparing dual-route cascaded and connectionist dual-process models with human data. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(5), 1268–1288. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026703.
Share, D. L. (1995). Phonological recoding and self-teaching: Sine qua non of reading acquisition. Cognition, 55(2), 151–218. https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0277(94)00645-2.
Share, D. L. (2008). Orthographic learning, phonological recoding, and self-teaching. In R. V. Kail (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 36, pp. 31–82). New York, NY: Elsevier.
Stuart, M., & Stainthorp, R. (2016). Reading development and teaching. London: Sage.
Temple, C. M. (1985). Surface dyslexia: Variation within a syndrome. In K. Patterson, J. C. Marshall, & M. Coltheart (Eds.), Surface dyslexia (pp. 269–288). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Temple, C. M., & Marshall, J. C. (1983). A case study of developmental phonological dyslexia. British Journal of Psychology, 74(4), 517–533. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1983.tb01883.x.
Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Test of word reading efficiency. Austin, TX: ProEd.
Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Comprehensive test of phonological processing (CTOPP). Austin, TX: ProEd.
Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (4th ed.). San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
Ziegler, J. C., & Goswami, U. (2005). Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: A psycholinguistic grain size theory. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 3–29. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.131.1.3.
Zorzi, M., Houghton, G., & Butterworth, B. (1998). Two routes or one in reading aloud? A connectionist dual-process model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 24(4), 1131–1161. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1518.104.22.1681.
We would like to thank JC, JW, and their parents for their participation in this research. We thank the control participants, teachers, Heads of Primary, and Principals at the Norwest Christian College, Redfield College, and St Peter’s Anglican Primary School for their involvement in the study. We also thank Stephen Pritchard for helpful discussion and comments on connectionist computational models of word reading. Lastly, we thank the Editor and two anonymous Reviewers for constructive suggestions and comments. This paper was prepared while Linda Larsen was funded by a Postdoctoral Fellowship, Saskia Kohnen was funded by a Macquarie University Research Fellowship (MQRF), Genevieve McArthur was funded by an ARC Australian Research Fellowship (0879556), and Lyndsey Nickels was funded by an ARC Future Fellowship (120100102).
About this article
Cite this article
Larsen, L., Kohnen, S., McArthur, G. et al. An investigation of grapheme parsing and grapheme-phoneme knowledge in two children with dyslexia. Read Writ 31, 991–1015 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-018-9823-z
- Non-lexical reading
- Grapheme-phoneme knowledge
- Grapheme parsing
- Phoneme blending