The internal structure of the syllable in Russian and in Hebrew: Evidence from monolingual kindergarteners

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Abstract

Notwithstanding remarkable phonological differences, the CV syllable is the most frequent syllable type in both Russian and Hebrew. This led to the prediction that the internal structure of the CVC syllable in the two languages, as reflected in phonological awareness tasks, might be similar. The study tested phonological awareness in two groups of monolingual kindergarteners: Hebrew-speaking (N = 35) and Russian-speaking (N = 20) in order to shed light on the underlying structure of the CVC syllable in the two languages. Phonological awareness tasks targeted awareness of the sub-syllabic structure (structured and unstructured) and phoneme awareness (initial and final). A linear mixed model analysis revealed that children in both groups showed greater facility with body-coda CV-C than with onset-rime C-VC syllable splitting and higher scores on final than on initial phoneme isolation tasks. The unstructured tasks also reflected the cohesion of the CV body in both languages. The findings demonstrate a similar internal representation of the CVC syllable in Russian and in Hebrew speakers as reflected in phonological awareness among preschoolers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-129
Number of pages29
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023.

Keywords

  • Hebrew
  • Russian
  • body-coda
  • onset-rime
  • phonological awareness

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