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Decreasing dependence on orthography in phonological development

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Abstract

Despite the general transparency of standard Turkish orthography, it fails to distinguish the (not fully predictable) contrast between coronal vs. dorsal laterals following back vowels in certain loanwords: the laterals in /koɫ/ <kol> and /rol/ <rol> are both represented as <l>. This contrast results in non-canonical vowel harmony, where the backness of a suffix vowel is determined by the lateral, rather than by the preceding vowel (e.g. /koɫ-a/ <kola>, but /rol-e/ <role>). While early English-Turkish learners performed at a significantly higher level of accuracy on selecting the target suffix vowel in these contexts with auditory-­only presentation of the stimulus than with auditory and written presentation, intermediate and advanced learners come to rely more on auditory stimuli and less on orthography.

References

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