This article presents a study based on the Devanagari script, to examine how segmental awareness is influenced by the alignment of the spatial ordering of graphemes in relation to the logical phonological order of the phonemes. In the study, native Hindi speakers were asked to delete the first consonant in a syllable (the onset consonant) from two pairs of invented "words". In the first word the spatial ordering was aligned to the phonological ordering - that is, each character followed the previous one in the same order as they would be spoken - but in the second word a character which is subject to reordering was used, so that the spatial ordering was incongruous with the phonological ordering. The results strongly support the hypothesis that the spatial order of the phonemes influences segmental awareness in languages that are written with an abugida.

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