chapter  5
18 Pages

Sources of Information Children Use in Learning to Spell: The Case of Finnish Geminates

ByAnnukka Lehtonen

Traditionally the study of literacy development has been dominated by research concentrating on English orthography. However, languages differ in their structure and the characteristics of their orthography, and English with its deep morphophonological orthography and relatively simple morphological structure is by no means the norm. This is increasingly acknowledged in the field, as the past decade has seen a remarkable increase in the number of studies investigating literacy acquisition in languages other than English, including studies concerning bilingualism and cross-linguistic comparisons in a variety of languages. Because languages differ from each other in multiple ways, they provide different kinds of opportunities for investigating the factors affecting literacy development. Finnish is an interesting language for this kind of research for several reasons. It has an almost perfectly transparent orthography, phoneme length in addition to phoneme quality distinguishes between meanings, and the morphological structure of the language is very complex.