Date of Completion


Embargo Period



learning, novel words, reading

Major Advisor

Jay G. Rueckl

Associate Advisor

Donald P. Shankweiler

Associate Advisor

Etan J. Markus

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Similarity to known words has been found to influence novel word learning (cf. Storkel, et al., 2006; Bartolotti & Marian, 2014). The current study examines the influence of the orthographic and phonological typicality of novel written words on the acquisition of meaning and subsequent naming behavior for those items. The orthographic and phonological characteristics of novel words were manipulated to create high and low wordlikeness pseudoword stimuli, and the effects of orthographic and phonological typicality or wordlikeness were investigated separately. Participants learned pseudoword-picture pairs across eight learning epochs using a paired associate paradigm (Sandak et al., 2004), and read aloud trained and untrained pseudowords post-training. High orthographic wordlikeness and high phonological wordlikeness were associated with better learning of the paired associates. This dissertation adds to the evidence that models of word learning for skilled readers need to consider the regularities of spoken and written forms of the language, and proposes a hybrid model of word learning based on models of reading acquisition.