By Mark Torrance, Luuk Van Waes, David W. Galbraith
A glance on the mental strategies at the back of writing.
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Additional info for Writing and Cognition, Volume 4 : Research and Applications.
Table 3 summarises the mean speeds and the comparisons that were performed. The results indicate that, on an average, writing speed was significantly lower during PEs. Other comparisons revealed no significant difference between the different types of PE. Thus, the presence during PEs of processes involved in encoding visual information from the task environment causes graphomotor execution to slow down. According to the capacity theory, this is because allocating resources to these processes diminishes the resources available for graphomotor execution (Bourdin & Fayol, 2002).
Moving down the processing hierarchy, from the graphemic word to lexical constituents and then to the syllable tier, we can now ask whether there are even smaller processing units such as syllable constituents. In Weingarten et al. (2004), it was shown that syllable onsets with two consonants lead to longer interkey intervals than syllables with only one onset consonant. This indicates a split of syllabic units into onsets and rhymes. As the study did not directly address this question, this finding needs further corroboration.
Chanquoy et al. (1990, 1995), using a much more detailed typology of linguistic units in their analyses of pauses, reached a different conclusion regarding the influence of syntactic constituents on the pause length. Chanquoy et al. (1990) video recorded 16 adults writing a text. They found a relation between the pre-writing time (the time elapsing between the end of the instruction and the beginning of graphic activity) and syntactic complexity. The pre-writing time was higher when participants were asked to write three propositions as a single sentence than as three separate sentences.