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Preschoolers use partial letter names to select spellings: Evidence from Portuguese



Two studies examined children's use of letter–name spelling strategies when target phoneme sequences match letter names with different degrees of precision. We examined Portuguese-speaking preschoolers' use of h (which is named /a′ga/ but which never represents those sounds) when spelling words beginning with /ga/ or variants of /ga/. We also looked at use of q (named /ke/) when spelling /ke/ and /ge/. Children sometimes used h for stimuli beginning with /ga/ and /ka/, and q when spelling words and nonwords beginning with /ke/ and /ge/ they did not use these letters when stimuli began with other sequences. Thus, their spellings evinced use of letter-name matches primarily when consonant-vowel sequences matched, such that vowels must be exact but consonants could differ in voicing from the target phoneme.


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ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Tatiana Cury Pollo, Washington University, Campus Box 1125, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130. E-mail:


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