Lexical Stress Sensitivity and Reading in English: A Systematic Review and Two Empirical Explorations among Korean-English Bilinguals
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The present dissertation explores the relationship between lexical stress and reading in English. The dissertation comprises three studies: one systematic review and two empirical studies. Study 1 aims to disentangle the relationship between English lexical stress and reading by systematically reviewing the empirical studies published in the last 20 years. Study 2 examines Korean-English bilingual adults’ (N = 41) sensitivity to different cues to stress assignment during multisyllabic nonword reading in English, and its contribution to reading. Last, Study 3 investigates 3rd to 5th grade Korean-English bilingual children’s (N = 39) stress cue sensitivity, and its relationship with reading ability in English. In the systematic review, 20 studies comprised the final sample for coding based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Overall, the study showed that lexical stress sensitivity is significantly associated with word reading in English. The findings further demonstrated some ambiguities in using different measures for stress sensitivity. The empirical studies focused on two major cues to stress assignment in English: (1) Orthographic cues which refer to probabilistic information of particular word endings that are associated with stress patterns and (2) morphological cues which refer to English derivational suffixes that provide information for stress assignment. The empirical studies also explored the contribution of stress cue sensitivity to English reading ability among two groups of Korean-English bilinguals. Study 2 revealed that Korean-English bilingual adults relied on both stress cues, and no statistically significant differences were found between the cues. Study 2 confirmed that the bilingual adults’ stress cue sensitivity was related to their English reading. Study 3 also showed that Korean-English bilingual children were sensitive to the two stress cues with better performance on the orthographic cues to stress assignment task than the morphological cues task. However, no significant correlations were found among the bilingual children’s stress cue sensitivity measures and reading performances. Taken together, the present dissertation emphasizes the importance of stress sensitivity and its relationship with reading in English. The empirical studies contributed to the scarce literature on stress processing among the bilingual population. The dissertation also discusses research and pedagogical implications of stress sensitivity and reading in English.
Park, Jeong Hyun (2018). Lexical Stress Sensitivity and Reading in English: A Systematic Review and Two Empirical Explorations among Korean-English Bilinguals. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from