The effect of printed word attributes on Arabic reading

Alhussein, Ahmed (2017) The effect of printed word attributes on Arabic reading. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Printed Arabic texts usually contain no short vowels and therefore a single letter string can often be associated with two or more distinct pronunciations and meanings. The high level of homography is believed to present difficulties for the skilled reader. However, this is the first study to gather empirical evidence on what readers know about the different words that can be associated with each homograph. There are few studies of the effects of psycholinguistic variables on Arabic word naming and lexical decision. The present work therefore involved the creation of a database of 1,474 unvowelised letter strings, which was used to undertake four studies. The first study presented lists of unvowelised letter strings and asked participants to produce the one or more word forms (with short vowels) evoked by each target. Responses to 1,474 items were recorded from 445 adult speakers of Arabic. The number of different vowelised forms associated with each letter string and the percentage agreement were calculated. The second study collected subjective Age-of-Acquisition ratings from 89 different participants for the agreed vowelised form of each letter string. The third study asked 38 participants to produce pronunciation responses to 1,474 letter strings. Finally, 40 different participants were asked to produce lexical decisions to 1,352 letter strings and 1,352 matched non-word letter strings. Mixed-effects models showed that orthographic frequency, Age-of-Acquisition and name agreement influenced word naming, while lexical decision was not affected by name agreement. Findings indicate that lexical decision in Arabic requires recognition of a basic shared morphemic structure, whereas word naming requires identification of a unique phonological representation. It takes longer to name a word when there are more possible pronunciations. The Age-of-Acquisition effect is consistent with a developmental theory of reading.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Subjects:
ID Code:
124619
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
19 Apr 2018 10:10
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Unpublished
Last Modified:
29 Mar 2020 00:54