Su Jin Lee

Date of Graduation

Summer 2008


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


trade-off effects, spelling, syntactic complexity, SSS-S, SSS-W

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Trade-off effects between spelling and syntactic complexity in school-age children were examined. Thirty-eight 3rd and 4th graders' spontaneous writing samples were obtained in Months 5 and 9 of the academic year. Each sentence was analyzed to determine the relationship between spelling accuracy and (a) clause-structure complexity and (b) length of sentence. Pearson r correlations coefficients were calculated between the Spelling Sensitivity Score-Segments (SSS-S), Spelling Sensitivity Score-Words (SSS-W), and number of words and morphemes per sentence. The SSS-S and SSS-W significantly correlated with a number of words and morphemes per sentence; however, most relationships were weak. Two analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were separately computed with Clause Structure Type (fragment, simple, multiple verbs with infinitive forms, compound, embedded, and complex) as the independent measure and the SSS-S and SSS-W as the dependent measures. There were no significant differences in the SSS-S or SSS-W among the six types of the clause structure. Because there were numerous sentences that contained no spelling errors, the analyses were repeated only on sentences that contained misspelled words. There were significant differences in the SSS-S or SSS-W among the six types of the clause structure. Post hoc comparisons indicated that the SSS-S and SSS-W were worse in simple clause structures than in compound, embedded, and complex structures. In other words, syntactically complex sentences tended to contain words spelled accurately. These findings indicated that there were no trade-off effects between spelling performance and syntactic/grammatical complexity.


© Su Jin Lee

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