Published On: 27/01/2015|Categories: 2013–2017, Vol.36 (1), Vol.36 (2015)|

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The goal of the present study was to extend the models explaining the missing-letter effect (MLE) to an additional language and orthography, and to test the role of phonology in silent reading in Arabic. We also examined orthographic effects such as letter position and letter shape, morphological effects such as pseudo-prefixes, and phonological effects such as pronounceability. The results showed that readers miss letters more often in function words and prefixes than in content words, more in second position than in first position, more often when the letters are silent than pronounced, and less often when the letter shape is more symmetric and stable. The results show that these aspects of the missing letter effect can be generalized over writing systems that are not alphabetic, suggesting that the models proposed to explain the MLE in all the orthographies tested may reflect a universal aspect of reading.

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