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ERIC Number: ED277983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Study of the Utility of the Vowel in Open Syllable and Vowel in Closed Syllable Rules when Pronouncing Three-Syllable Words.
Greif, Ivo P.
To determine the usefulness in correctly pronouncing the vowels of three-syllable words of two commonly taught phonics rules and to assess whether their utility is inversely proportional to the number of syllables in a word, a study analyzed all of the over 100,000 three-syllable words in the "Scott Foresman Advanced Dictionary." As a reference, the paper quotes two frequently taught rules of phonics: (1) "when a vowel is in the middle of a one syllable word, the vowel is short"; and (2) "if the only vowel in a word is at the end of that word, it is usually long." For the purpose of the present study, these rules are restated, in order to make them applicable to syllables as well as to words: (1) "when the only vowel is not the last letter in the syllable, it represents the short sound"; and (2) "when the only vowel is the last letter in a syllable, it represents the long sound." Analysis revealed six main categories (each defined in the study) into which the three-syllable words fit. Findings indicated that the overall utility of the rules for all the open and closed syllables was 9.99% (of the 19,427 words researched). However, analysis of the correct pronunciation of the entire words containing these syllables revealed an overall utility of only 3% for the rules. These evaluations presumed that no errors were made either in syllabication or consonant pronunciation. Given that children in early first grade usually make many mistakes of this sort, it is probable that the utility of the phonics rules in question is even lower. Results supported the hypothesis that the utility of the rules is inversely proportional to the number of syllables in a word. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A