In many Hebrew compounds, which are two-word phrases, the first word is marked morphophonologically, and often also orthographically, as the head of the compound. Because Hebrew is read from right to left, this allowed us to ask whether a right-hand word that is marked orthographically as a compound-head, and hence signals that another word is expected, causes readers with text-based neglect to continue shifting attention to the left and read the second word. We also asked whether the second, left-hand, word affects the reading of the first word. The effect of the second word was assessed in a condition in which the second word semantically disambiguated the first word, a biased heterophonic homograph, and a condition in which the second word formed a compound with the first and hence required reading the first in the morphophonological form of a compound-head. The two participants were Hebrew-speaking men with acquired left text-level neglect dyslexia, without word-based neglect dyslexia. They read 294 two-word compounds and control phrases, composed of five conditions that assessed the effect of the first word on the second word, and of the second on the first.The results indicated that morphosyntax modulates reading in neglect dyslexia. When the first, right-hand, word included an orthographic cue indicating that a second word follows, fewer words on the left were omitted than when no such cue existed. The second word, however, did not affect the reading of the first, and the first word was read as if the patients did not look ahead to the second.
- Neglect dyslexia