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Acquired surface dyslexia: The evidence from Hebrew

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Smadar Birnboim*
Affiliation:
Haifa University
*
School of Education, Haifa University, Israel 31905

Abstract

Most research on dyslexia deals with native speakers of English. This study, however, investigates the specific symptoms of acquired surface dyslexia in Hebrew. It is assumed that Hebrew has a number of distinctive properties that would affect the definition of symptoms differently from those in English. In this study, four acquired surface dyslexic adults were compared with eight normal second graders in terms of reading strategy. The comparison was carried out mainly to discover whether certain symptoms were specific to surface dyslexia or whether they were normal in reading acquisition and thus could be defined in terms of a general non-lexical strategy of reading. Two main conclusions emerged from this research study. (1) Homophones and homographs were a major source of difficulty for native Hebrew surface dyslexic readers; vowel misreadings were the most common error. These phenomena were not common to English surface dyslexia, where difficulty with irregular words is the main symptom and regularization errors are the most frequent. It should be noted, however, that difficulty with homophones also occurs in English surface dyslexia. (2) The normal second graders tended to read using a non-lexical strategy. Their reading was similar to that of surface dyslexic subjects.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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