Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Can a lack of grammatical knowledge alone be held accountable for the spelling errors that are made for homophonous verb forms and do these errors occur because spellers do not apply their grammatical knowledge? Three experiments with secondary school pupils were conducted on Dutch weak prefix verbs. The results confirmed that pupils made many spelling errors and also have great problems identifying the verb forms’ functions. Moreover, a direct correlation was revealed between a pupil’s identification of the form’s grammatical function and its spelling. These results indicate that many errors result from pupils’ inability to determine the grammatical functions of the forms. If pupils know the form’s function, they are more likely to also spell the form correctly. If they do not, they often choose the form’s homophone, especially if the homophone is more frequent than the target form. Spelling education thus needs a strong grammatical basis.


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