Linguistics colloquium: Elinor Saiegh-Haddad

17/04/2018 - 14:00 - 15:30

Elinor Saiegh-Haddad, Bar-Ilan University

Title: Impact of Diglossia on Reading Development and Disability in Arabic

Abstract: One predominant manifestation of Arabic diglossia is a phonological distance between Spoken Arabic (SpA), the child’s everyday spoken language and Standard Arabic (StA), the language of literacy. Phonological distance has been shown to have a strong influence on typically developing children’s acquisition of literacy-related phonological skills, including phonological memory (Saiegh-Haddad & Ghawi-Dakwar, 2017), phonological representations (Saiegh-Hadad & Haj, forthcoming), phonological awareness (Saiegh-Haddad, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007; Saiegh-Haddad, Levin, Hende, & Ziv, 2011), and word reading accuracy and fluency (Saiegh-Haddad & Schiff, 2016; Schiff & Saiegh-Haddad, 2018). The talk will discuss evidence of the impact of phonological distance on reading among reading disabled children (Schiff & Saiegh-Haddad, 2017) and on the interaction between distance and orthography (voweled versus unvoweled) in reading Arabic words. It will also discuss data testing the impact of the phonological distance between SpA and StA on phonological processing in children with Developmental Language Disorder and Developmental Reading Disability as reflected in performance on three tasks: Nonword Repetition, Nonword Decoding and Nonword Learning. The results from these studies show a consistently negative impact of phonological distance on phonological processing in both DLD and DRD children across all tasks. Moreover, phonological processing among DLD and DRD children appears to be more strongly impacted by phonological distance than among TD children as reflected in a) an early emerging and a persistent deficit when novel items are processed, and b) a developmentally more extended discrepancy from TD milestones when novel items are targeted. 


Building 504, room 7

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