Several studies have demonstrated the relationship between phoneme segmentation ability and early reading performance, but so far it is unclear which abilities are involved, and which word properties contribute to the difficulty level of a segmentation task. Using a sample of 596 Dutch children, we investigated the abilities involved in segmenting the phonemes of 45 pseudowords that differed with respect to several properties. First, we found that a combination of short-term memory and speech perception explained variation in segmentation performance. Second, we found that a limited number of word property effects explained the difficulty level of pseudowords rather well. Finally, we constructed a high-reliability scale for measuring segmentation ability.

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Keywords Item response theory analysis, Linear logistic test model, Phoneme segmentation ability, Phonological awareness segmentation
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Journal European Journal of Psychological Assessment
Bouwmeester, S, van Rijen, E.H.M, & Sijtsma, K. (2011). Understanding phoneme segmentation performance by analyzing abilities and word properties. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 27(2), 95–102. doi:10.1027/1015-5759/a000049