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Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 0102-3772On-line version ISSN 1806-3446


MEIRELES, Elisabet de Sousa  and  CORREA, Jane. Contextual and morphosyntactic rules in children's acquisition of portuguese orthography. Psic.: Teor. e Pesq. [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.1, pp.077-084. ISSN 0102-3772.

The present study intended to examine differences in complexity presented by different orthographic contexts in the acquisition of Portuguese orthography. Second- and fourth-grade children were presented with a spelling task, which included low-frequency words, based on either morphosyntactic (suffixes esa, oso and eza) or contextual (uses of r and rr and nasalization before consonants) rules. It was observed a clear hierarchy in the learning of the orthographic rules examined. Contrary to the idea that children would have better performance in spelling words based on contextual rules, in this study the easiest spelling items were not only the ones based on contextual rules: the use of the suffixes esa and oso is an easy orthographic rule to learn, along with some contextual rules. Although the fourth graders scored better in the task, children's difficulties with the various orthographic contexts are very similar for both grades.

Keywords : spelling; contextual rules; morphosyntax; morphosyntactic rules.

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