The Goodman psycholinguistic model of English reading and its applicability to Semitic languages
AuthorAl- Fahid, Jassem Mohammed.
AdvisorGoodman, Kenneth S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe present study investigated the reading process in Arabic by drawing on the Goodman Model of English Reading, and testing its applicability to Semitic languages. Due to the multi-tier nature of Arabic orthography (i.e. letters and diacritics), two questions were addressed: (1) how the absence/presence of diacritics affects the readers' performance on the reading tasks, and (2) how readers assign phonology and inflectional features in reading unmarked texts (i.e. texts that are written in Modern Standard Arabic with no diacritics). The study was conducted in Tucson, Arizona, and involved fifteen Saudi male undergraduate students enrolled at The University of Arizona. Due to the multi-tier nature of Arabic orthography, a new multi-tier methodology had to emerge. The methodology involved the designing of three tasks: (1) the Diacritic Placement Task (DPT), (2) the Arabic Text Reading Task (ATRT), and (3) playback interviews. The DPT showed that, in assigning phonology and inflectional features to context-free sentences with no diacritics, readers of Arabic rely on their linguistic knowledge. Readers' choices are not random, and they seem to follow a regular pattern depending on their degree of markedness. Readings that are unmarked or more frequent (i.e. immediate readings) precede the marked or less frequent ones (i.e. delayed readings). Immediate readings include the active voice and the passive voice sentences, whereas delayed readings include causative sentences. The ATRT showed how reading was relatively faster for most readers when they were inferring the diacritics that were absent. The presence of diacritics made reading relatively slower, because readers saw them as a "controlling system" which they had to follow. Most of them, however, preferred reading texts with diacritics if they were to read in front of an audience. The study provides evidence that reading is not a process of word identification. Reading is a universal sociopsycholinguistic process that operates within a specific sociocultural context and involves an interaction between language and thought. The study also shows that, by adding a multi-tier extension to it, the Goodman Model of Reading provides a powerful account of the reading process in Arabic.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture