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Article
Sensitivity to Probabilistic Orthographic Cues to Lexical Stress in Adolescent Speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Peers
THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • Joanne Arciuli, University of Sydney
  • Rhea Paul, Sacred Heart University
Document Type
Peer-Reviewed Article
Publication Date
1-1-2012
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.

DOI
10.1080/17470218.2012.655700
Publisher
Psychology Press
Pages
1288-1295
Citation Information

Arciuli, Joanne and Paul, Rhea, "Sensitivity to Probabilistic Orthographic Cues to Lexical Stress in Adolescent Speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Peers" (2012). Speech-Language Pathology Faculty Publications. 3.