Lateralization effects in reading pointed and unpointed Hebrew

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Hebrew has two forms of spelling, pointed and unpointed. In the pointed spelling, diacritical signs (pointing) are added to consonantal letters to convey vowel information. These are omitted in the unpointed spelling. Since pointing conveys information that is critical for the prelexical derivation of phonology, it was hypothesized that its absence would prove detrimental for left hemisphere (LH) but not for right hemisphere (RH) reading and that, for the former, pointing effects would increase with increasing word length. Three experiments, one involving lexical decision and two involving word pronunciation, yielded little support for these hypotheses; rather, pointing had an overall adverse effect on performance, and this effect tended to be more pronounced for LH reading. In general, however, the results indicated an LH advantage. Since for central vision pointing has been found to aid performance under similar conditions, the results were seen to suggest a distinction between the visual and the phonological effects of pointing: pointing may impair early stages of visual analysis but may aid in the derivation of speech codes. 1985 The British Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-173
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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