The processing of morphology in old age: Evidence from Hebrew

Gitit Kavé, Yonata Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Taking advantage of the rich morphological structure of Hebrew, the current article aims to examine whether age affects the processing of morphological forms through an investigation of 2 systematic morphological paradigms. Method: Forty-eight young and 48 old Hebrew speakers completed 2 experiments: the 1st investigated sensitivity to subject-verb gender incongruity in a reading task, and the 2nd examined parsing of pseudoverbs containing existing and nonexisting consonantal roots in a lexical-decision task. Results: Older adults were slower relative to the young, but both groups were slower on incongruent relative to congruent targets and on a pseudoverb with a real root relative to a pseudoverb with a nonexistent root. In both experiments the interaction between condition and age was statistically significant. Conclusions: While older adults demonstrate preserved morphological parsing abilities, possible explanations for the interaction effect include cognitive slowing or deficient inhibitory control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1442-1451
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Hebrew
  • Morphology


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