Morphological processing in reading acquisition: A cross-linguistic perspective
Word identification, which is the retrieval of the linguistic constituents (phonological, semantic) of a word, plays a central role in children’s reading development. This development includes the automatization of word decoding and the attainment of fluent reading levels, both essential for skilled reading with comprehension (Perfetti, 1992; Stanovich, 2000; Verhoeven & van Leeuwe, 2009). In learning to read, children first acquire elementary decoding skills, and then gradually apply these skills with greater accuracy and speed, leading to an increasingly automated process of that recognizes multiletter units (consonant clusters, syllables, and morphemes) and whole words (Ehri, 2005). Automatic word recognition enables the devotion of mental resources to the meaning of a text and thus allows readers to use reading as a tool for the acquisition of new information and knowledge (Perfetti, 1998; Stanovich, 2000).