Document Type


Publication Date



Division of Education


Graduate School


This study assessed the morphological knowledge of kindergarteners and first graders in relation to their early spelling ability. Morphological knowledge was investigated because, in order to spell, children need to understand that words are composed of morphemes and phonemes, and because poor spellers have particular difficulty with inflected forms of words. Kindergarteners and first graders were grouped by their implicit understanding of morphology and were given tests of dictated spelling and morphological analysis. First graders with poor morphological knowledge omitted more inflectional morphemes in spelling and were less able to identify base morphemes in spoken words than kindergarteners and first graders with higher levels of implicit morphological knowledge. The results demonstrate the importance of morphological knowledge in the development of spelling proficiency.

Copyright/Permission Statement

With permission of Haskins Laboratories.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.