The study investigates adult Hebrew readers'perception of words containing the grapheme[Hebrew] in different orthographic andmorphological contexts. In the firstexperiment, 38 third-year education studentswere asked to make lexical decisions regarding24 pointed words (presented with vowel marks)in a sentential context in two conditions –with and without the grapheme [Hebrew] standingfor the vowels o and u. All wordsshared the same syllabic structure but haddifferent morphological structures (linear andnon-linear). Half of the words had [Hebrew] whichobligatorily occurs in all types of Hebrewscript, while half of them had [Hebrew] which isdeleted in pointed script. Response latenciesand accuracy were measured. In the secondexperiment, the same procedure was repeatedusing the same 24 words without pointing marks.The addition of [Hebrew] was found to facilitatecorrect decision on task words. We also foundthat both orthographic and morphologicalcontexts affected the representation of oand u by [Hebrew]. We identified a categoryof Hebrew words where the status of [Hebrew] isparticularly unstable. The study supports aroot-based view of Hebrew spelling and hasimplications for the interface of orthographic,phonological and morphological factors in therepresentation of written language. It alsosupports a reading/spelling processing model,which claims that internal orthographicrepresentations of words are increasinglystrengthened with each exposure during reading,but not all graphemes are strengthened equally.The general implication is that the ambiguitiesthat exist in the relationships betweenorthography, phonology and morphology underliespelling knowledge.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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