Chapter

Children's Invented Spelling: What We Have Learned in Forty Years<sup>*</sup>

Charles Read and Rebecca Treiman

in Rich Languages From Poor Inputs

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590339
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745041 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590339.003.0013
Children's Invented Spelling: What We Have Learned in Forty Years*

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This chapter extends, updates, and refines Carol Chomsky's groundbreaking work on the child's development of writing and reading. It summarizes the early contributions and then examines what four decades of further research has uncovered. How well have the initial views of the nature of invented spelling and the early ideas about classroom instruction held up? It emphasizes that children's invented spellings are their own creation, at least in part, and not a defective imitation of the adults' writing system. The creative peculiarities of children's invented spelling could not have been acquired from instruction or dictation, as the standard spellings may have been. Invented spellings may thus tell us something about the child's knowledge of language.

Keywords: children; language acquisition; invented spelling; Carol Chomsky; writing; reading

Chapter.  7321 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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