Morphology and spelling among Hebrew-speaking children: From kindergarten to first grade

Iris Levin*, Dorit Ravid, Sharon Rapaport

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study had two major objectives: (1) to analyse the development of two morphological structures in Hebrew, one inflectional and the other derivational and (2) to examine the mutual contribution of morphological knowledge and learning the written code. In a longitudinal design, 40 children were tested twice, first in kindergarten (mean age: 5; 11) and again in first grade (mean age: 6; 5), on two oral tasks - inflecting nouns for possession and deriving denominal adjectives - and one written task of writing a series of noun-adjective pairs. The derivational task was found to be harder than the inflectional task, both on the stem and the suffix level, attributable to its higher semantic opacity. In both oral tests, correct stem production when suffixed was related to the morphophonological level of stem change. Correlations were found between morphological and writing scores. Moreover, children who were more advanced in morphology in kindergarten progressed more in writing vowels from kindergarten to first grade, and those who were more advanced in writing in kindergarten improved more in derivational morphology with grade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-772
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2001


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