Script Adjustment and Phonological Awareness
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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The Dutch spelling system, like other European spelling systems, represents a certain balance between preserving the spelling of morphemes (the morphological principle) and obeying letter-to-sound regularities (the phonological principle). We present experimental results with artificial learners that show a competition effect between the two principles: adhering more to one principle leads to more violations of the other. The artificial learners, memory-based learning algorithms, are trained (1) to convert written words to their phonemic counterparts and (2) to analyze written words on their morphological composition, based on data extracted from the CELEX lexical database. As an exception to the competition effect we show that introducing the schwa as a letter in the spelling system causes both morphology and phonology to be learnt better by the artificial learners. In general we argue that artificial learning studies are a tool in obtaining objective measurements on a spelling system that may be of help in spelling reform processes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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