Chapter 7. Word Stress Competence and Literacy in Dutch Children with a Family Risk of Dyslexia and Children with Dyslexia

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This study assessed Dutch word stress acquisition in children with (a familial risk of) dyslexia and normally developing children. Word stress production was measured through repetition of non-words with stress patterns varying in regularity. Both three-year-old children with a family risk of dyslexia and nineyear-old dyslexic children had more difficulties on this task than agematched children without a family risk of dyslexia and without dyslexia. For the three-year-olds, word stress performance was related to their phonological, but not to their literacy abilities at age eight. For the nine-year-olds, associations were found between word stress production, verbal working memory, and literacy. It is argued that there is a bidirectional relationship between segmental representations and word stress abilities. The findings are interpreted within the phonological deficit hypothesis of dyslexia.


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