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A case study of the effect of age-of-acquisition on reading aloud in Chinese dyslexia

By Sam-Po Law, Winsy Wong, Olivia Yeung and Brendan Weekes


This paper reports the influence of age-of-acquisition (AoA) effects on the oral reading accuracy of a Chinese brain-injured individual, FWL, who has anomia and dyslexia resulting from moderate-to-severe semantic deficits. We found an effect of the phonological consistency of a character and tentative evidence for an interaction between AoA and consistency. These observations converge on previous reports of an effect of AoA on reading and spelling of alphabetic scripts and in the reading of Japanese Kanji, a non-alphabetic script. An effect of AoA is also the expected outcome of the arbitrary mapping hypothesis which assumes that the locus of the AoA effect resides in the connection between levels of representations in the lexical processing system. We consider alternative interpretations of the AoA effect being located at the representations themselves, including phonological output and the semantic system. We propose that future studies of dyslexic individuals who rely primarily on the semantic reading route for reading in Chinese may reveal effects of semantic variables, including those associated with the semantic radical in phonetic compound characters

Year: 2008
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