Morphological parafoveal preview benefit effects in reading: Evidence from Hebrew

Avital Deutsch*, Ram Frost, Alexander Pollatsek, Keith Rayner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Hebrew words are composed of two interwoven morphemes: a three-consonantal root and a word-pattern (a nominal or a verbal pattern). Previous research has revealed that a parafoveal preview of a word derived from the same root morpheme as the foveal target word facilitated first-pass reading (as indexed by first fixation duration and gaze duration). In the current study we extended our research on parafoveal preview effects to other derivational morphemes in Hebrew and also examined whether context has an influence on these early morphological effects. We found that a parafoveal preview which had a common verbal pattern with a target word facilitated processing, but a preview with a common nominal pattern did not. These results are similar to previous results obtained using the masked priming paradigm with single words, and suggest that masked priming and parafoveal preview tap similar cognitive processes in word recognition. Furthermore, a preview of a verbal form (that was syntactically incongruent with the prior sentence context) inhibited the identification of a nominal form. However, biasing semantic context did not affect the first-pass reading time for target words which were previewed by a word derived from the same root. These results suggest that morphological information extracted from the parafovea in the initial phases of word recognition in Hebrew may be affected by syntactic contextual processes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)341-371
Number of pages31
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, Grant 0322253 granted to the first two authors, and by grant HD26765 from the National Institute of Health to the third and fourth authors. We wish to thank Yuval Ziv, Alonit Ranya, Noga Sagiv, and Tamar Gvor for their extensive help and assistance in running the experiments,


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