The role of the root morpheme in mediating word production in Hebrew

Avital Deutsch*, Adi Meir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Using the picture-word interference paradigm with auditorily presented distractors, we investigated the effect of morphological processes on producing words, as distinct from phonological and semantic effects. The study was performed in Hebrew, a language with a nonconcatenated morphology, and focused on the derivational root morpheme, which is distributed nonsequentially throughout the word. The semantic, morphological, and phonological relatedness between the auditory distractor word and the picture name was manipulated, as well as the Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA) between the distractor and picture presentation. Compared with an unrelated distractor, the results revealed a facilitatory morphological effect within the time window of SOAs from -200 to 300 ms. This effect was distinct from the semantic and phonological effects in the time course and/or direction. These results extended both the experimental evidence for the role of morphology in language production to a language with a nonconcatenated morphological structure, and previous findings in word perception in Hebrew to the realm of word production.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)716-744
Number of pages29
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - May 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence should be addressed to Avital Deutsch, The School of Education, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. E-mail: This research was supported by a grant from the Israeli Science Foundation (#179/09) to Avital Deutsch. We thank Ram Frost for helpful comments on the manuscript, and Roni Pener-Tessler for her extensive help and assistance in running the experiments.


  • Morphology
  • Picture-word interference
  • Speech production


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