Impact Factor 2.067 | CiteScore 3.2
More on impact ›

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01691

Changes in the sensitivity to language-specific orthographic patterns with age Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Nebrija University, Spain
  • 2Arctic University of Norway, Norway
  • 3Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, Spain
  • 4University of York, United Kingdom
  • 5Lancaster University, United Kingdom

How do bilingual readers of languages that have similar scripts identify a language switch? Recent behavioral and electroencephalographic results suggest that they rely on orthotactic cues to recognize the language of the words they read in ambiguous contexts. Previous research has shown that marked words with language-specific letter sequences (i.e., letter sequences that are illegal in one of the two languages) are recognized more easily and faster than unmarked words. The aim of this study was to investigate sensitivity to markedness throughout childhood and early adulthood by using a speeded language decision task with words and pseudowords. A large group of Spanish-Basque bilinguals of different ages (children, preteenagers, teenagers and adults) was tested. Results showed a markedness effect in the second language across all age groups that changed with age. However, sensitivity to markedness in the native language was negligible. We conclude that sensitivity to orthotactics does not follow parallel developmental trend in the first and second language.

Keywords: orthotactics, orthographic patterns, language-specific orthography, orthographic markedness, Ageing, Reading development

Received: 31 Mar 2020; Accepted: 22 Jun 2020.

Copyright: © 2020 Dunabeitia, Borragan, De Bruin and Casaponsa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jon Andoni Dunabeitia, Nebrija University, Madrid, 20009, Gipuzkoa, Spain, jdunabeitia@nebrija.es