University of Tasmania
Marsh_whole_thesis.pdf (3.05 MB)

Spelling nonwords : effects of sentence context, target consonant position and age group

Download (3.05 MB)
posted on 2023-05-27, 13:51 authored by Marsh, NJ
Written English is complex, as one sound can often be spelt in several ways (e.g., /f/ is most commonly spelt as f, and less commonly as ph or gh). This study investigated whether participants would choose the more common spelling of target consonants in nonwords presented in a sentence with a familiar rather than unfamiliar context. Further, it was predicted that this effect would be stronger for adults than children, and that adults would choose the more common spelling more often for target consonants at the end than beginning of nonwords (and vice versa for children). Forty-five adults and 56 children (Grades 4-5) completed a nonword spelling choice task in which the sentence context was either familiar or unfamiliar and the nonword's target consonant was in the word-initial or word-final position. Results revealed that more common spellings were chosen significantly more often when presented in familiar than unfamiliar sentences, and in the word-final than wordinitial position. Although no interaction between sentence context and age was found, adults chose the more common spelling significantly more often than children. This research is the first to reveal a higher-level contextual influence on the use of spelling patterns. Implications for classroom teaching are discussed.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 the author

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager