The role of morpheme recognition and morphological awareness in dyslexia

Af Carsten Elbro & Elisabeth Arnbak

This paper begins by representing theoretical arguments and empirical evidence to support the idea that morpheme analysis strategies play a part in word recognition in reading, and in dyslexia in particular. The results of two studies are presented which indicate that dyslexic adolescents use recognition of root morphemes as a compensatory strategy in reading of both single words and coherent text. Furthermore, the evidence is reviewed that the use of morpheme recognition as a strategy in reading to some extent depends on the linguistic awareness of morphemes in spoken language. Finally, results from a pilot study of the effects og morphological awareness training of dyslexic students are presented which suggest that it may be possible to improve the awareness of morphology independently of phoneme awareness, and that such a training may have positive effects on reading of coherent text and on the accurate spelling of morphologically complex words.

Elbro, C. & Arnbak, E. (1996). The role of morpheme recognition and morphological awareness in dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 46, 209-240.