Three groups of students—19 hard of hearing, 20 deaf, and a control group of 36 typically developing hearing readers—were compared on their ability to process written words at the lexical level and on their comprehension of words within the structure of a sentence. Findings generally suggested that severe prelingual hearing loss does not prevent the development of word processing strategies adequate for efficient processing of written words at the lexical level, although such hearing loss seems to put individuals at risk of failure in internalizing syntactic knowledge crucial for proper processing of words at the sentence level. Evidence further indicated that neither the amount of functional hearing (deaf vs. hard of hearing), the hearing status of their parents (hearing impaired vs. hearing), nor the use of sign language as a primary communication mode was a direct cause in this regard.


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pp. 305-323
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