Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft
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Schulorthographie und Graphematik
This paper will address the relationship between ‘school orthography’ and graphemics. For a long time graphemics was not accepted as a linguistic subject at all. However, orthography has always been taught in school. Problems with the discrepancy are discussed in this paper. We will focus on the problems at the level of phoneme-grapheme-correspondences, the basic principle for alphabetical systems. We will then analyse the interpretation of mistakes given in orthography-tests and how the mistakes should be interpreted linguistically. We will also show how it is problematic to base the teaching of an alphabetic system exclusively on one position in the word, normally the beginning of the word (as seen in dictionary picture books, and corresponding to the German ‘Anlauttabelle’), which always leads to reductions. Furthermore, graphemes which do not occur in word initial position consequentially seem to be highly marked, which in fact they are not. Even if we believe that German words always begin with a consonant (e. g. [?alt]), Anlauttabellen convey that children do not hear correctly, and this should simply not be the case. But this has nothing to do with the graphemic system: the graphemic system of German is much more systematic than is often assumed. If only for this reason alone, current and future teachers should know this system for teaching.
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