Children's and adults' reading of nonwords

effects of regularity and consistency

Veronika Coltheart*, Judi Leahy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Citations (Scopus)


The procedures used by novice readers to assemble pronunciations for nonwords were investigated. Children in Grades 1-3 read aloud consonant-vowel-consonant and longer monosyllabic nonwords. By the end of Grade 1, children displayed a good grasp of grapheme-phoneme (G-P) correspondences (e.g., ai, ow). Grade 2 and 3 readers increasingly used larger orthographic correspondences termed rimes (e.g., -ook, -ild). However, G-P correspondences determined most responses. Adults likewise used G-P rules when reading aloud nonwords and were more accurate at applying the rules. The strong reliance of Grade 1 and 2 readers on G-P rules was also demonstrated by their superior oral reading of regular words along with a tendency to regularize exception words (e.g., reading bull to rhyme with dull).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-729
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Children's and adults' reading of nonwords: effects of regularity and consistency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this