Role of Morphology in Visual Word Recognition: A Parafoveal Preview Study in Arabic Using Eye-Tracking

Asaid Khateb, Ibrahim A. Asadi, Shiraz Habashi, Sebastian Peter Korinth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Words in Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are composed of two interwoven morphemes: roots and word patterns (verbal and nominal). Studies exploring the organizing principles of the mental lexicon in Hebrew reported robust priming effects by roots and verbal patterns, but not by nominal patterns. In Arabic, prior studies have produced some inconsistent results. Using the eye-tracking methodology, this study investigated whether the Arabic morphological classes (i.e., root, verbal pattern, nominal pattern) presented parafoveally would facilitate naming of foveally presented words among young native Arabic skilled readers. Results indicate that roots and both word patterns accelerated word naming latencies, suggesting that morphological knowledge contributed to word recognition processes in Arabic. The inclusion of the three morpheme classes into one study represents so far the most comprehensive study of morphological priming effects in Arabic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1038
Number of pages9
JournalTheory and Practice in Language Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Arabic morphology
  • eye-tracking
  • mental lexicon
  • morpheme
  • parafoveal priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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