Phonology-independent general orthographic knowledge

Ferenc Kemény*, Karin Landerl

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)


    While reading is among the most important and well-researched topics of developmental psychology, sublexical regularities and how these regularities relate to reading skills have attracted less interest so far. This study tested general orthographic knowledge (GOK) using an indirect reaction time (RT)-based task, in which participants had to detect letters appearing within frequent and infrequent letter clusters. The aim of the method was to minimise the roles of phonological activation and metalinguistic decision. Three different age-groups of German-speaking individuals were tested: first graders (N = 60), third graders (N = 68), and adults (N = 44). Orthographic regularity affected RTs in all three groups, with significantly lower RTs for frequent than for infrequent clusters. The indirect measure of GOK did not show an association with reading measures in first graders and adults, but in the case of third graders it explained variance over and above age and phonological skills. This study provides evidence for phonology-independent GOK, at least in third graders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2075-2083
    Number of pages9
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • general orthographic knowledge
    • target detection
    • orthographic knowledge
    • phonological activation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Phonology-independent general orthographic knowledge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this