The Processing of Morphology in Old Age Evidence From Hebrew Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2005
The Processing of Morphology in Old Age
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gitit Kavé
    The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Yonata Levy
    The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: gkave@012.net.il
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2005
The Processing of Morphology in Old Age
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2005, Vol. 48, 1442-1451. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/100)
History: Received July 30, 2004 , Revised November 16, 2004 , Accepted April 8, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2005, Vol. 48, 1442-1451. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/100)
History: Received July 30, 2004; Revised November 16, 2004; Accepted April 8, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

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.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by doctoral grants to the first author from the Brookdale Institute of Gerontology and Human Development and Eshel-The Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel, as well as by a grant from the Israel Foundations Trustees. We thank Maya Marcus for her help in data collection.
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