Awareness of linear and nonlinear morphology in Hebrew: A developmental study

Dorit Ravid*, Adina Malenky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study explores the interface of language typology, universal predispositions, language awareness and school instruction through the examination of two morphological domains in Hebrew: linear formation of stem-and-suffix words and nonlinear Semitic formation of root-and-pattern affixation. One hundred children, adolescents and adults were administered five tasks testing awareness of roots, morphological patterns, stems and suffixes in inflection and in derivation. Two major findings are reported and analysed: awareness of linear constructions emerges earlier than awareness of nonlinear forms, and stems (roots and word stems) are easier to construe than affixes (morphological patterns and suffixes). The paper discusses the inter-action of language acquisition and use with linguistic awareness, and the effect of tasks on different degrees of morphological awareness in Hebrew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-56
Number of pages32
JournalFirst Language
Issue number61
StatePublished - 2001


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