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Visual processing of derivational morphology in children with developmental dyslexia: Insights from masked priming


We investigated whether children with dyslexia rely on derivational morphology during visual word recognition and how the semantic and form properties of morphemes influence this processing. We conducted two masked priming experiments, in which we manipulated the semantic overlap (Experiment 1) and the form overlap (Experiment 2) between morphologically related pairs of words. In each experiment, French dyslexic readers as well as reading-level matched and chronological-age matched children performed a lexical decision task. Significant priming effects were observed in all groups, indicating that their lexicon is organized around morpheme units. Furthermore, the dyslexics’ processing of written morphology is mainly influenced by the semantic properties of morphemes, whereas children from the two control groups are mainly influenced by their form properties.

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ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Pauline Quémart, Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition et l'Apprentissage (CeRCA)–CNRS UMR 7295, MSHS, Bâtiment A5, 5 rue Théodore Lefebvre, 86000 Poitiers, France. E-mail:
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