Measuring orthographic transparency and morphological-syllabic complexity in alphabetic orthographies: a narrative review

Elisabeth Borleffs, Ben A. M. Maassen, Heikki Lyytinen, Frans Zwarts

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    29 Citaten (Scopus)
    264 Downloads (Pure)


    This narrative review discusses quantitative indices measuring differences between alphabetic languages that are related to the process of word recognition. The specific orthography that a child is acquiring has been identified as a central element influencing reading acquisition and dyslexia. However, the development of reliable metrics to measure differences between language scripts hasn’t received much attention so far. This paper therefore reviews metrics proposed in the literature for quantifying orthographic transparency, syllabic complexity, and morphological complexity of alphabetic languages. The review included searches of Web of Science, PubMed, PsychInfo, Google Scholar, and various online sources. Search terms pertained to orthographic transparency, morphological complexity, and syllabic complexity in relation to reading acquisition, and dyslexia. Although the predictive value of these metrics is promising, more research is needed to validate the value of the metrics discussed and to understand the ‘developmental footprint’ of orthographic transparency, morphological complexity, and syllabic complexity in the lexical organization and processing strategies.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)1617-1638
    Aantal pagina's22
    TijdschriftReading and writing
    Nummer van het tijdschrift8
    StatusPublished - okt.-2017

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