Authors: Elise Lefèvre, Jeremy M. Law, Pauline Quémart, Royce Anders, and Eddy Cavall.

Article: What’s Morphology Got to Do With It: Oral Reading Fluency in AdolescentsWith Dyslexia.

Publication: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition (American Psychological Association). Online First Publication, August 25, 2022 2022 | DOI: 10.1037/xlm0001163

[Full Text]

Individuals with dyslexia often present phonological difficulties, ultimately impacting their reading and writing. Nevertheless, an individual with dyslexia may circumvent these difficulties through a reliance on linguistic units with more consistent spellings, such as morphemes. The increased use of morphological information by individuals with dyslexia has been argued to be a form of compensation. However, the contribution of morphological skills to reading fluency is still unclear. In this study, French adolescents with and without dyslexia were assessed on their morphological awareness and processing skills, along with reading fluency. Morphological awareness was assessed with a suffixation decision task, while a primed lexical decision task was used to assess morphological processing. Primes shared four possible relationships with the targets: morphological, semantic, orthographic, or unrelated. Group differences were not found for morphological awareness. In contrast, the group of adolescents with dyslexia showed a greater benefit of morphological priming. A continuous approach where reading fluency is seen as a broad spectrum was then used for future analyses. Benefits from morphological and orthographic priming were found to be inversely related to reading fluency. Morphological processing was found to be relatively high for individuals with low reading fluency proficiency, which suggests its use as a compensatory strategy in this population

Tagged as: altbrain, compensation, fluency, french, morphological priming, morphological processing, and reading fluency


Lefèvre, E., Law, J. M., Quémart, P., Anders, R., & Cavalli, E. (2022). What’s morphology got to do with it: Oral reading fluency in adolescents with dyslexia. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Excerpts from Full Text / Notes:

Specifically, we found morphological priming levels to be inversely linked to reading fluency level (i.e., morphological priming increased when reading fluency level decreased). Hence, morphological priming benefits were more prevalent in individuals with low reading fluency level.

Crucially, this negative relationship could be explained by the spatiotemporal reorganization of the reading network in adults with dyslexia…

In conclusion, this study argues that the reliance on morphemes during reading is stronger in individuals with dyslexia but also in individuals with low reading fluency. Thus, the benefit of, or greater reliance on, morphological processing is particularly present in individuals with dyslexia but also present in individuals with a low reading fluency.

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