The role of the morpho-phonological word-pattern unit in single-word production in Hebrew

Avital Deutsch*, Tamar Malinovitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Complex words in Hebrew are composed of two non-concatenated interwoven units: (1) a consonantal root morpheme usually comprising three consonants, embedded within (2) a word-pattern morpho-phonological unit made up of vowels or vowels + consonants. The word-pattern unit provides segmental, vocalic and metrical structure information about the word. Using the picture-word interference paradigm with auditorily presented distractors, we investigated the role of the word-patterns within the nominal system, i.e. the nominal-patterns, during word production, using 4 different SOAs (ranging from -200. ms to 300 ms). Compared to an unrelated distractor, the results revealed a facilitatory nominal-pattern effect in the time window of SOAs from -200. ms to 300 ms. This effect (1) had a different time-course than a pure phonological effect, and (2) was not conditioned by semantic similarity. The effect of the nominal-pattern is ascribed to the form, lexical, word-form level, where the patterns, together with the roots, mediate the mapping of the lemma into phonological words. It is suggested that Hebrew speakers attain a word's phonological form by identifying these patterns, which combine rich phonological information from the segmental and the supra-segmental structure.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Morphological word-patterns in Hebrew
  • Morphology
  • Picture-word-interference paradigm
  • Word production


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