Most models of visual word recognition in alphabetic orthographies assume that words are lexically organized according to orthographic similarity. Support for this is provided by form-priming experiments that demonstrate robust facilitation when primes and targets share similar sequences of letters. The authors examined form-orthographic priming effects in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Hebrew and Arabic have an alphabetic writing system but a Semitic morphological structure. Hebrew morphemic units are composed of noncontiguous phonemic (and letter) sequences in a given word. Results demonstrate that form-priming effects in Hebrew or Arabic are unreliable, whereas morphological priming effects with minimal letter overlap are robust. Hebrew bilingual subjects, by contrast, showed robust form-priming effects with English material, suggesting that Semitic words are lexically organized by morphological rather than orthographic principles. The authors conclude that morphology can constrain lexical organization even in alphabetic orthographies and that visual processing of words is first determined by morphological characteristics.
|Number of pages||34|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2005|
- Form priming
- Lexical organization