Advanced

The notion of "phonology' in dyslexia research: Cognitivism - and beyond

Uppstad, Per Henning LU and Tonnessen, Finn Egil (2007) In Dyslexia 13(3). p.154-174
Abstract
Phonology has been a central concept in the scientific study of dyslexia over the past decades. Despite its central position, however, it is a concept with no precise definition or status. The present article investigates the notion of 'phonology' in the tradition of cognitive psychology. An attempt is made to characterize the basic assumptions of the phonological approach to dyslexia and to evaluate these assumptions on the basis of commonly accepted standards of empirical science. First, the core assumptions of phonological awareness are outlined and discussed. Second, the position of Paula Tallal is presented and discussed in order to shed light on an attempt to stretch the cognitive-psychological notion of 'phonology' towards auditory... (More)
Phonology has been a central concept in the scientific study of dyslexia over the past decades. Despite its central position, however, it is a concept with no precise definition or status. The present article investigates the notion of 'phonology' in the tradition of cognitive psychology. An attempt is made to characterize the basic assumptions of the phonological approach to dyslexia and to evaluate these assumptions on the basis of commonly accepted standards of empirical science. First, the core assumptions of phonological awareness are outlined and discussed. Second, the position of Paula Tallal is presented and discussed in order to shed light on an attempt to stretch the cognitive-psychological notion of 'phonology' towards auditory and perceptual aspects. Both the core assumptions and Tallal's position are rejected as unfortunate, albeit for different reasons. Third, the outcome of this discussion is a search for what is referred to as a 'vulnerable theory' within this field. The present article claims that phonological descriptions must be based on observable linguistic behaviour, so that hypotheses can be falsified by data. Consequently, definitions of 'dyslexia' must be based on symptoms; causal aspects should not be included. In fact, we claim that causal aspects, such as 'phonological deficit', both exclude other causal hypotheses and lead to circular reasoning. If we are to use terms such as 'phonology' and 'phoneme' in dyslexia research, we must have more precise operationalizations of them. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
phonological awareness, definition, circularity, phonological deficit, phonology, connectionism
in
Dyslexia
volume
13
issue
3
pages
154 - 174
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • wos:000249234800002
  • scopus:34548082081
ISSN
1076-9242
DOI
10.1002/dys.332
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5b90b0fb-0043-4cc2-b080-b189f01ce25c (old id 686696)
date added to LUP
2008-01-03 11:32:37
date last changed
2017-07-30 03:40:52
@article{5b90b0fb-0043-4cc2-b080-b189f01ce25c,
  abstract     = {Phonology has been a central concept in the scientific study of dyslexia over the past decades. Despite its central position, however, it is a concept with no precise definition or status. The present article investigates the notion of 'phonology' in the tradition of cognitive psychology. An attempt is made to characterize the basic assumptions of the phonological approach to dyslexia and to evaluate these assumptions on the basis of commonly accepted standards of empirical science. First, the core assumptions of phonological awareness are outlined and discussed. Second, the position of Paula Tallal is presented and discussed in order to shed light on an attempt to stretch the cognitive-psychological notion of 'phonology' towards auditory and perceptual aspects. Both the core assumptions and Tallal's position are rejected as unfortunate, albeit for different reasons. Third, the outcome of this discussion is a search for what is referred to as a 'vulnerable theory' within this field. The present article claims that phonological descriptions must be based on observable linguistic behaviour, so that hypotheses can be falsified by data. Consequently, definitions of 'dyslexia' must be based on symptoms; causal aspects should not be included. In fact, we claim that causal aspects, such as 'phonological deficit', both exclude other causal hypotheses and lead to circular reasoning. If we are to use terms such as 'phonology' and 'phoneme' in dyslexia research, we must have more precise operationalizations of them. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.},
  author       = {Uppstad, Per Henning and Tonnessen, Finn Egil},
  issn         = {1076-9242},
  keyword      = {phonological awareness,definition,circularity,phonological deficit,phonology,connectionism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {154--174},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Dyslexia},
  title        = {The notion of "phonology' in dyslexia research: Cognitivism - and beyond},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dys.332},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2007},
}