Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Lexical stress refers to the opposition of strong and weak syllables within polysyllabic words and is a core feature of the English prosodic system. There are probabilistic cues to lexical stress present in English orthography. For example, most disyllabic English words ending with the letters “-ure” have first-syllable stress (e.g., “pasture”, but note words such as “endure”), whereas most ending with “-ose” have second-syllable stress (e.g., “propose”, but note examples such as “glucose”). Adult native speakers of English are sensitive to these probabilities during silent reading. During testing, they tend to assign first-syllable stress when reading a nonword such as “lenture” but second-syllable stress when reading “fostpose” (Arciuli & Cupples, 2006). Difficulties with prosody, including problems processing lexical stress, are a notable feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study investigated the ability of adolescents with ASD (13–17 years of age) to show this sensitivity compared with a group of typically developing peers. Results indicated reduced sensitivity to probabilistic cues to lexical stress in the group with ASD. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Comments

Published:

Arciuli, Joanne and Rhea Paul. "Sensitivity to Probabilistic Orthographic Cues to Lexical Stress in Adolescent Speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Peers." The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 65.7 (2012): 1288-1295.

DOI:10.1080/17470218.2012.655700