Metrical stress in comprehension and production of Dutch children at risk of dyslexia
De Bree, E., Van Alphen, P. M., Fikkert, P., & Wijnen, F.
Metrical stress in comprehension and production of Dutch children at risk of dyslexia. In H. Chan, H. Jacob, & E. Kapia (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development
(pp. 60-71). Somerville, Mass: Cascadilla Press.
The present study compared the role of metrical stress in comprehension and production of three-year-old children with a familial risk of dyslexia with that of normally developing children to further explore the phonological deficit in dyslexia. A visual fixation task with stress (mis-)matches in bisyllabic words, as well as a non-word repetition task with bisyllabic targets were presented to the control and at-risk children. Results show that the at-risk group was less sensitive to stress mismatches in word recognition than the control group. Correct production of metrical stress patterns did not differ significantly between the groups, but the percentages of phonemes produced correctly were lower for the at-risk than the control group. These findings suggest that processing of metrical stress is not impaired in at-risk children, but that this group cannot exploit metrical stress for speech in word recognition. This study demonstrates the importance of including suprasegmental skills in dyslexia research.