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Title: Linguistic sound symbolism and reading development : sound-shape matching and predictors of reading in multilingual Singapore
Authors: Woon, Fei Ting
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Linguistics::Psycholinguistics
DRNTU::Humanities::Linguistics::Sociolinguistics::Language acquisition
DRNTU::Social sciences::Psychology::Experimental psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Woon, F. T. (2018). Linguistic sound symbolism and reading development : sound-shape matching and predictors of reading in multilingual Singapore. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The evidence of sound-symbolism (sounds are linked systematically with other forms or referents) is well-attested with the bouba-kiki paradigm. Adults reportedly prefer matching sounds like voiceless consonants and high front vowels like /t, k, i, e/ with spiky shapes and voiced consonants and low back vowels like /b, m, l, o, u, a/ with curvy shapes. Drijvers et al (2015) tested adults with dyslexia using a bouba-kiki task and found that those adults made fewer congruent sound-symbolic choices; the researchers postulated that deficits in crossmodal processing underlie deficits in sound-symbol matching and in reading. In order to examine the developmental trajectory between sound-symbolism and reading, we tested a large sample of pre-schoolers (5 y 10 m) with a novel bouba-kiki task (the Alien Zoo task) and established norms. We then correlated the results with results from earlier measures of known predictors of reading that the same children completed at (24 m and 48m). We found no correlations and discuss our findings in relation to the research gap in reading development. With the same group of children, we analysed archival data of the caregiver’s language use with them. We present, for the first time, detailed descriptions of language environments of children growing up in Singapore and report different models of bilingualism in pre-verbal children tailored to the Singapore landscape. The mean language inputs of these models serve as a better guideline to classify bilingual child in Singapore. We found that these language input models explained the differences in the children’s scores on standardised English language tests at age 4, but did not explain the differences in the Alien Zoo task at age 6. This suggests that the Alien Zoo task is not biased by the amount of English language exposure in Singaporean bilingual preschoolers.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/73469
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Theses

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