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Title: The contribution of phonological access towards syntactic and semantic sentence processing : eye movement evidence from Arabic
Author: Hermena, Ehab W.
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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The relevance and importance of phonological access and of teaching phonology has sparked numerous professional and academic debates. The views of educators and academics have recently returned to emphasising the importance of phonology, but current directions in teaching practice and academic investigation offer limited understanding of the role of phonology in natural reading. Basically, as evident in current models of reading development, phonology remains thought of as a developmental milestone. What is lacking is a detailed understanding of how phonology is used in skilled natural reading and how phonological access interacts with other cognitive processes in text reading. In the first chapter I discuss how systematic investigations using Semitic languages (e.g. Arabic) can allow us to address this gap in our knowledge. Furthermore, I argue, with extensive evidence, that research which utilises eye-tracking methodology provides the most comprehensive way to exploring the cognitive processes of natural reading, including potential interactions of phonological and syntactic and semantic processing. In the second chapter I present an empirical investigation in which I tracked the eyes of native readers of Arabic during natural reading. Through presenting participants with well-designed and ecologically-verified stimuli, our research team uncovered evidence that skilled readers use phonology strategically when processing syntax and semantics. The findings of our investigation has clear educational implications which transcend the particular language used in the investigation (i.e. Arabic). This investigation makes a significant contribution towards developing a comprehensive understanding of human language-processing universals by including evidence obtained from non-Roman alphabetical language.
Supervisor: Liversedge, Simon ; Drieghe, Denis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available