It has been suggested that readers of transparent orthographies rely on small-size reading units, such as graphemes and phonemes, in learning to read. The present paper shows that lexical and morpho-lexical reading is used by developing readers of Italian since the first elementary grades. Several studies that report the presence of lexical and morpho-lexical effects in Italian developmental dyslexics are also reviewed. It is argued that large-size reading units such as morphemes and whole-words are necessary, even in a transparent orthography, in order to attain reading fluency. © 2009 AELFA y Grupo Ars XXI de Comunicación, S.L.
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