Morphological processing in adult dyslexia

Mark Leikin, Even Zur Hagit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study employed the masked-priming paradigm [Forster and Davis (J Exp Psychol bearn Mem Cogn 10: 680-698, 1984).], along with traditional methods of evaluation of morphological awareness and phonological processing, to obtain a finer-grained picture of the relationship between morphological abilities and reading in adult dyslexic readers. Participants were 21 dyslexic and 21 normally reading native Hebrew-speaking male college students. The results with masked priming demonstrated almost normal status of morphological knowledge in adult dyslexic readers with the presence of characteristic processing slowness. Phonological processing and morphological awareness were also shown to contribute primarily to word decoding in the regular and dyslexic group alike. At the same time, the contribution of different phonological skills to morphological priming effects (for pattern and root) dropped to zero. The findings demonstrated that weakness of dyslexic readers in morphological awareness tasks cannot be explained either by hypotheses on the structural deficit of morphological knowledge in dyslexia or by phonological deficit hypotheses. The explanation for this phenomenon seems to lie in the specific deficit of morphological processing, or even, more generally, in metalinguistic processing deficiency in dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-490
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Decoding
  • Dyslexia
  • Hebrew
  • Morphological priming
  • Morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • General Psychology


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