The role of morphological awareness in word reading skills in Japanese: a within-language cross-orthographic perspective

Naoko Muroya, Tomohiro Inoue*, Miyuki Hosokawa, George K. Georgiou, Hisao Maekawa, Rauno Parrila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the relationship between morphological awareness and word reading skills in syllabic Hiragana and morphographic Kanji. Participants were 127 Grade 1 Japanese-speaking children who were followed until Grade 2. The results showed that Grade 1 morphological awareness was uniquely and comparably associated with word reading skills in both Hiragana and Kanji in Grade 1 after controlling for nonverbal and verbal cognitive abilities, phonological awareness, and rapid automatized naming. The effect of Grade 1 morphological awareness on Grade 2 Kanji word recognition was slightly stronger (∆R2 = .10) than the effect on Grade 2 Hiragana reading fluency (∆R2 = .03). The findings suggest that morphological awareness plays an important role in early word reading skills across the two scripts, and with reading skill development it may become more important for mastering morphographic Kanji characters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-462
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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