The role of complex prosody in the oral reading of young children
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Prosodic, or expressive, reading is considered to be one of the essential features of the achievement of reading fluency. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which complex prosody varied as a function of reading skill and what role prosody might play in mediating individual differences in comprehension. Direct prosodic measurement was used and rdreading skill was determined through standardized assessments. Spectrographic analysis of 80 3 rdgraders and 29 adults’ reading of a complex 3 grade text was employed. Fundamental frequency (F0) and pause duration measurements were made for each of the following grammatical structures: basic declarative sentences; basic quotatives; yes-no questions; complex adjectival phrases; and frontal movement phrases. Efficient readers had shorter and more adult-like pause structures. Structural equation modeling found evidence that decoding and oral reading abilities predict prosodic reading and comprehension skill, but failed to find an indirect effect of prosody for comprehension.