Surface dyslexia in a language without irregularly spelled words

J. Masterson, M. Coltheart, P. Meara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The symptom of surface dyslexia that has attracted most theoretical interest so far is a selective difficulty in the reading aloud of words with irregular relationships of spelling to sound. Poorer performance with irregular than with regular words, and the occurrence of regularisation errors, are central to the description of surface dyslexia. Both symptoms depend on the presentation of irregular words to the patient. The spelling system of Spanish is perfectly regular; that is, there exists a system of spelling-sound rules that correctly describes the pronunciation of all written words in Spanish, and so no irregular words exist. F.E. comes from a middle-class family who live in Colombia, South America, and who are Spanish-speaking. F.E. was born and lived in Colombia until the age of 18, when he came to England. One hundred pairs of homophones were selected, plus a spoken definition of one member of each pair of homophones.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSurface dyslexia
Subtitle of host publicationneuropsychological and cognitive studies of phonological reading
EditorsK. E. Patterson, J. C. Marshall, M. Coltheart
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781351609784, 9781315108346
ISBN (Print)0836770266, 9781138090941
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePsychology library editions: Psychology of reading


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