Phonotactic constraints: implications for models of oral reading in Russian

Anastasia Ulicheva*, Max Coltheart, Steven Saunders, Conrad Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The present article investigates how phonotactic rules constrain oral reading in the Russian language. The pronunciation of letters in Russian is regular and consistent, but it is subject to substantial phonotactic influence: the position of a phoneme and its phonological context within a word can alter its pronunciation. In Part 1 of the article, we analyze the orthography-to-phonology and phonology-to-phonology (i.e., phonotactic) relationships in Russian monosyllabic words. In Part 2 of the article, we report empirical data from an oral word reading task that show an effect of phonotactic dependencies on skilled reading in Russian: humans are slower when reading words where letter-phoneme correspondences are highly constrained by phonotactic rules compared with those where there are few or no such constraints present. A further question of interest in this article is how computational models of oral reading deal with the phonotactics of the Russian language. To answer this question, in Part 3, we report simulations from the Russian dual-route cascaded model (DRC) and the Russian connectionist dual-process model (CDP++) and assess the performance of the 2 models by testing them against human data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-656
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Russian
  • phonotactic rules
  • oral reading
  • computational modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Phonotactic constraints: implications for models of oral reading in Russian'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this