Repetition of Less Common Sound Patterns: A Unique Relationship to Young Children’s Phonological Awareness and Word Reading

Jamie L Metsala


The current study examined predictors of concurrent phonological awareness in 95 Grade 1 children and of reading achievement 5 months later. Of primary interest was whether the repetition of nonwords with less versus more common sound patterns was a better predictor of these variables. Only the repetition of nonwords low in wordlikeness predicted unique variance in concurrent phonological awareness after measures of phonological memory and vocabulary. Similarly, nonword repetition for words low in wordlikeness accounted for unique variance in later reading after measures of fall reading, phonological memory, vocabulary, and phonological awareness. A fall phonological representations factor was directly related to later reading achievement. Results are discussed within a framework for which the representation of less common sound sequences has a robust relationship to reading acquisition, and for which awareness of the phonemic structure of language may be reducible to the representation of phonological information in lexical memory.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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