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 journalArticlepeer-review

    94 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


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