Ortho-syllables and syllables affect the dynamics of adjective handwriting in French

Eric Lambert 1, * Pauline Quemart 1
* Corresponding author
Abstract : Some research on written production has focused on the role of the syllable as a processing unit. However, the precise nature of this syllable unit has yet to be elucidated. The present study examined whether the nature of this processing unit is orthographic (i.e., the ortho-syllable) or phonological. Thirty-two native French speakers were asked to copy adjectives on a digitizer, successively adding a plural and a feminine one-letter morpheme to the same adjective. The adjective agreement could modify the structure of both phonological and orthographic syllables, only ortho-syllabic structure, or leave both unchanged. When the change modified only the orthographic syllable structure, there was an increase in duration at the letter before the syllable boundary. By contrast, when adding a letter changed both orthographic and phonological structures, an increase in the duration of the inter-letter interval was observed. Importantly, the increase in duration cannot be explained exclusively by the addition of a letter because the addition of a plural inflection did not significantly influence the dynamics of handwritten production. These results are consistent with the idea that ortho-syllables serve as a processing unit during handwriting, and that this type of syllable is specific to the written code.
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Eric Lambert, Pauline Quemart. Ortho-syllables and syllables affect the dynamics of adjective handwriting in French. 17th Biennial Conference of the International Graphonomics Society, International Graphonomics Society (IGS); Université des Antilles (UA), Jun 2015, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. ⟨hal-01165879⟩

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