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Psychol Bull. 2005 Jan;131(1):3-29.

Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: a psycholinguistic grain size theory.

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Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique and Université de Provence, Marseille, France.


The development of reading depends on phonological awareness across all languages so far studied. Languages vary in the consistency with which phonology is represented in orthography. This results in developmental differences in the grain size of lexical representations and accompanying differences in developmental reading strategies and the manifestation of dyslexia across orthographies. Differences in lexical representations and reading across languages leave developmental "footprints" in the adult lexicon. The lexical organization and processing strategies that are characteristic of skilled reading in different orthographies are affected by different developmental constraints in different writing systems. The authors develop a novel theoretical framework to explain these cross-language data, which they label a psycholinguistic grain size theory of reading and its development.

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