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Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from an incidental learning experiment with children

Samara, A; Singh, D; Wonnacott, EA; (2019) Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from an incidental learning experiment with children. Cognition , 182 pp. 25-30. 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.09.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Statistical learning processes–akin to those seen in spoken language acquisition (Saffran et al., 1996)–may be important for the development of literacy, particularly spelling development. One previous study provides direct evidence for this process: Samara and Caravolas (2014) demonstrated that 7-year-olds generalize over permissible letter contexts (graphotactics) in novel word-like stimuli under incidental learning conditions. However, unlike in actual orthography, conditioning contexts in Samara and Caravolas’ (2014) stimuli comprised perfectly correlated, redundant cues in both word-initial and word-final positions. The current study explores whether 7-year-olds can extract such constraints in the absence of redundant cues. Since theories of literacy development predict greater sensitivity to restrictions within word-final units, we also contrast learning in word-initial and word-final units. We demonstrate that–for 7-year-old learners in two linguistic contexts (English and Turkish)–there is substantial evidence for the learning of both types of restriction.

Type: Article
Title: Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from an incidental learning experiment with children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.09.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.09.005
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Statistical learning, Spelling, Graphotactic restrictions, Incidental learning, Word-final units, Bayes factors
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055544
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