« Confronting Lexical Choice and Error Distribution in Written French: New Insights into the Linguistic Insecurity of Students with Dyslexia » (Audrey Mazur-Palandre, Matthieu Quignard et Agnès Witko, in « Brain Sciences », 11(7), 922, 2021)

The main goal of this paper is to analyze written texts produced by monolingual French university students, with and without dyslexia. More specifically, we were interested in the linguistic characteristics of the words used during a written production and of the type of word errors. Previous studies showed that students with dyslexia have difficulties in written production, whether in terms of the number of spelling errors, some syntactic aspects, identification of errors, confusion of monosyllabic words, omissions of words in sentences, or utilization of unexpected or inappropriate vocabulary.

For this present study, students with dyslexia and control students were asked to produce written and spoken narrative and expository texts. The written texts (N = 86) were collected using Eye and Pen© software with digitizing tablets. Results reveal that students with dyslexia do not censor themselves as regards the choice of words in their written productions. They use the same types of words as the control students. Nevertheless, they make many more errors than the control students on all types of words, regardless of their linguistic characteristics (length, frequency, grammatical classes, etc.). Finally, these quantitative analyses help to target a rather unexpected subset of errors: short words, and in particular determiners and prepositions.

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