Reading and Writing

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 263–287 | Cite as

The effects of morphology and word length on the reading of Hebrew nominals

  • Rachel Schiff


This article investigated the effects of twospecific Hebrew nominal word structures andword length, on the latency and accuracy ofgrade school children's reading ofwords. For this study, three-, four- and five-letterwords of the feminine nominalderivative structure and the feminine nominalinflectional structure, at three differentgrade levels, were used. The study alsodifferentiated between an additional vocalizedconsonant and the addition of a vowel letter.The participants, 150 native monolingual Hebrewspeakers in grades two, four and six, wereasked to read vocalized nouns. The paperreports and analyzes the differences in thereading of the two morphological structures andword lengths to draw conclusions about theireffects on reading performance. The resultsindicated that inflections took longer to readand elicited more correct responses thanderivations. For derivations with theprogression of grade level, latency becomesshorter and the number of correct responsesincreases. For inflections with the progressionof grade level, latency becomes longer but thenumber of correct responses increases. With theaddition of a consonant at all grade levels,latency becomes longer. For accuracy, therewere differential results for the differentword lengths in the different grades. With theaddition of a vowel letter, accuracy increasedin all the grade levels. Latency, for the twoword lengths, showed differential results inthe different grades. A hypothesis on readingdevelopment is suggested based on the language-specificcharacteristics of Hebrew morphologyand the double vowel system of Hebrew.

Accuracy Consonant Latency Morphology Vowel letter Word length 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Schiff
    • 1
  1. 1.Haddad Center for Research in Dyslexia and Reading DisordersBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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