The impact of pointing on the short-term memory (STM) of heterophonic homographs

Vered Vaknin-Nusbaum, Paul Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study entailed two short-term memory (STM) experiments investigating the importance of vowel diacritics for the temporary retention of three distinct Hebrew word list types: heterophonic homographs, non-homographs and homophonic homographs. Eighty university students participated in each experiment, with half of them tested with word lists presented in fully pointed (voweled) Hebrew and the other half given the word lists in unpointed Hebrew (with vowel diacritics removed). In Experiment 1, all stimulus materials were presented in print script. Experiment 2 was an exact replication, except that stimulus materials were in cursive Hebrew. Findings from both experiments indicated that, overall, the presence of vowel diacritics had no facilitating effect on participants' quantitative or qualitative STM performance. In fact, when reading print script, pointing was found to be detrimental to STM recall for all three investigated word categories. Findings are discussed with respect to a dual-route reading model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-792
Number of pages24
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Hebrew
  • Pointing
  • Reading
  • STM
  • Vowel diacritics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of pointing on the short-term memory (STM) of heterophonic homographs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this