The Role of Nominal Word Pattern in Arabic Reading Acquisition: Insights from Cross-modal Priming

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The morphological structure of the word has a central function in the organization of the mental lexicon and word recognition. Polymorphemic words in Arabic are composed of two non-concatenated morphemes: root and word-pattern. This study is the first to address the issue of nominal-pattern priming among young developing Arabic speakers. I examined cross-modal priming using words derived from the same nominal-pattern as the target (/ruku:b/-/duxu:l/riding-entrance) relative to prime words that included a different word-pattern than the target, while preserving phonological similarity (/duxa:n/-/duxu:l/“smoke”-“entrance”) in two groups: second- and fifth-graders. The findings showed facilitation of lexical decisions about target words, in terms of accuracy but not reaction times in both grades. These findings may stem from the morpho-orthographic nature of the Arabic written word and the information conveyed by the nominal word-pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author thanks Prof. Mark Leikin of the University of Haifa for his assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. This study was approved by the Office of the Chief Scientist - Ministry of Education (permit #10286). There were no conflicts of interest to declare. Dr Shalhoub-Awwad is the sole author of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. © 2019, © 2019 Yasmin Shalhoub-Awwad.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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