Predictors of developmental dyslexia in European orthographies with varying complexity

K. Landerl, F. Ramus, K. Moll, H. Lyytinen, P.H.T. Leppänen, K. Lohvansuu, M. O'Donovan, J. Williams, J. Bartling, J. Bruder, S. Kunze, N. Neuhoff, D. Tóth, F. Honbolygó, V. Csépe, C. Bogliotti, S. Iannuzzi, Y. Chaix, J.F. Démonet, E. LongerasS. Valdois, C. Chabernaud, F. Delteil-Pinton, C. Billard, F. George, J.C. Ziegler, I. Comte-Gervais, I. Soares-Boucaud, C.-L. Gérard, L. Blomert, A. Vaessen, P. Gerretsen, M. Ekkebus, D. Brandeis, U. Maurer, E. Schulz, S. van der Mark, B. Müller-Myhsok, G. Schulte-Körne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The relationship between phoneme awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), verbal short-term/working memory (ST/WM) and diagnostic category is investigated in control and dyslexic children, and the extent to which this depends on orthographic complexity. Methods: General cognitive, phonological and literacy skills were tested in 1,138 control and 1,114 dyslexic children speaking six different languages spanning a large range of orthographic complexity (Finnish, Hungarian, German, Dutch, French, English). Results: Phoneme deletion and RAN were strong concurrent predictors of developmental dyslexia, while verbal ST/WM and general verbal abilities played a comparatively minor role. In logistic regression models, more participants were classified correctly when orthography was more complex. The impact of phoneme deletion and RAN-digits was stronger in complex than in less complex orthographies. Conclusions: Findings are largely consistent with the literature on predictors of dyslexia and literacy skills, while uniquely demonstrating how orthographic complexity exacerbates some symptoms of dyslexia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-694
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Dyslexia
  • phonology
  • orthography
  • cross-linguistic

Cite this

Landerl, K., Ramus, F., Moll, K., Lyytinen, H., Leppänen, P. H. T., Lohvansuu, K., O'Donovan, M., Williams, J., Bartling, J., Bruder, J., Kunze, S., Neuhoff, N., Tóth, D., Honbolygó, F., Csépe, V., Bogliotti, C., Iannuzzi, S., Chaix, Y., Démonet, J. F., ... Schulte-Körne, G. (2013). Predictors of developmental dyslexia in European orthographies with varying complexity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(6), 686-694.