Reading and Writing

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 693–716 | Cite as

Analogy without priming in early spelling development

  • Marie-Line Bosse
  • Sylviane Valdois
  • Marie-Josèphe Tainturier


This article reports three experimentsinvestigating the use of analogies in spellingacquisition. French children spelledpseudowords to dictation, some of which werephonological neighbours of words with uncommonendings (e.g., /daby/ derived from ``début''/deby/). A more frequent use of these uncommongraphemes in neighbour pseudowords than incontrol pseudowords was taken as evidence forspelling by analogy. In Experiment 1, ananalogy effect was observed in Grades 3 to 5.Younger children did not use analogies, butthey were also unable to spell most referencewords. Experiments 2 and 3 introduced areference word learning phase prior to thepseudoword dictation task. An analogy effectwas found in second graders (Experiment 2) andeven in first graders (Experiment 3) whenchildren knew how to spell most referencewords. Comparable use of analogies was observedin children with comparable lexical knowledgeindependently of their grade level oralphabetic skills. The results suggest thatchildren establish specific orthographicknowledge from the beginning of literacyacquisition and use this knowledge to generatenew word spellings as soon as it isavailable.

Acquisition Analogy Children French Learning Neighbourhood Pseudoword Spelling Writing 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Line Bosse
    • 1
  • Sylviane Valdois
    • 1
  • Marie-Josèphe Tainturier
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neuro-Cognition (UMR 5105 CNRS)Université Pierre Mendès FranceGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Marie-Line Bosse or Sylviane Valdois, Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neuro-CognitionUniversité Pierre Mendés FranceGrenoble CedexFrance

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