• monday, 17 december 2018—14:00

    How phonological universals contribute to reading strategies in literate and illiterate adults?

    Méghane TOSSONIAN, https://www.lapsco.fr

    Reading acquisition is an essential stage of children’s socio-cognitive development. However, some
    face difficulties in learning to read. Although most of them would overcome these reading difficulties,
    some fail to acquire normal reading skills in particular since they will quit the school system without
    having acquired basic knowledge and skills (i.e., reading, writting, etc.). To date, functional illiteracy is
    a social and public health issue. It concerns from 7-to-10% of the French population, but it remains a
    taboo topic and scientific research dedicated to this is still rare. A main hypothesis in the scientific
    literature argues that functional illiteracy ensues from a phonological deficit. However, the causes of
    this deficit remain unclear. Most of the studies about functional illiteracy conducted in French language
    aimed at studying the role of French language-specific features. Unfortunately, such approach seems
    to be insufficient since it failed to precisely account for their reading difficulties. Alternative approaches
    rooting in universal linguistic principles (in, particular the universal phonological grammar; UPG) seem
    to be relevant to pinpoint the nature and the origin of such difficulties. In fact, sensitivity to UPG has
    already been evidenced in many languages including French (e.g., English, Korean, Russian, etc.)
    and appears to drive the segmentation strategies and influence the phonological patterns of dyslexic
    children and adults. Since UPG rules – at some levels – the segmentation and categorization of
    phonological sequences even in people with a phonological deficit, my work focused on the plausible
    contribution of UPG in skilled readers with automatic and robust phonological knowledge as well as in
    functional illiterates. I will mostly center my presentation on the fact that UPG guides the phonological
    strategies in silent reading in French skilled readers, and explain why French skilled readers exhibit
    (dis)preferences for some phonological sequences.

    external seminar