The autonomous computation of morpho-phonological structure in reading

Iris Berent, Joseph Tzelgov, Uri Bibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Is morphological decomposition automatic? To address this question, we examine whether Hebrew readers decompose morphologically complex words when reading is not required, in the Stroop task. Morphological decomposition is assessed using two markers. One marker examines whether colornaming is modulated by morphologically complex words generated from color roots. For example, we compare words generated from the Hebrew root of “blue” displayed in either blue or an incongruent color. The second marker examines whether color-naming is sensitive to root phonotactics. Here we compare color-naming with words whose (color-unrelated) roots are either phonologically illicit (e.g., ssm) or well–formed (e.g., smm). Results suggest that morphological decomposition proceeds even when reading is discouraged, but unlike previous research with intentional reading tasks, Stroop-like conditions do not allow for a detailed representation of the root’s internal structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-230
Number of pages30
JournalMental Lexicon
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Automaticity
  • Hebrew
  • Morphology
  • Phonology
  • Reading
  • Root
  • Stroop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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