chapter  18
12 Pages

Early Phonological Skill as a Predictor of Reading Acquisition in Latvian Ieva Sprugevica, Ingrida Paunina, and Torleiv Høien

Letters with diacritical marks are characteristic of Latvian writing. The extensive use of diacritical marks perhaps makes letters well matched with Latvian phoneme designation. For instance, compared with the German language, in which the phoneme [sˇ] is indicated by three letters (sch), in Latvian, the same phoneme is represented by a single letter [s] with an attached circumflex (sˇ ). Similarly, vowel length is marked by a horizontal bar placed above the letter. Exceptions to this one letter-one phoneme correspondence are the diphthongs, for which a phoneme is formed by a combination of two vowel letters.