Visual word stress marking and reading: The prosodic underdetermination of German script – visual enrichment as potential facilitation in reading
PhD project by Philip Kehl
Where is prosody located in the writing system of German?
The term prosody describes all characteristics of a string of sounds that are superimposed on the individual sounds. Among other things, this involves stressing of syllables. German script does not contain any direct clues as to how a word or a sentence is stressed correctly. Even when reading single words, individuals who learn to read and those with low reading skills find it difficult to stress the correct syllable (i.e. to correctly assign word stress). Assembling single sounds (often clearly coded by letters) in syllables is only one part of the process of reading. If word stress is assigned correctly, a word can also be processed more easily as lexical unit, which has positive effects on pronunciation and comprehension. It seems plausible to assume that weak readers, in particular those who do not yet process a word in its entirety, benefit from the word stress-bearing syllable being marked.
Does marking the stressed syllable help when reading a word?