The Role of Short Vowels in Reading Arabic: A Critical Literature Review

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The purpose of the present review is to examine the studies that tested the role of short vowels in reading Arabic. Most of the studies are reviewed in this paper and two contradicted data are presented: data that support positive contribution of short vowels in reading Arabic, and the other data that reject the assumption that short vowels contribute to the quality of reading, and suggest that these short vowels do not add any positive contribution and maybe the opposite; short vowels hinder reading in Arabic orthography. The results are criticized indicating some methodological problems and suggestions for further studies are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-795
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Arabic orthography
  • Reading and short vowels
  • Semitic languages
  • Short vowels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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