Phonemic – Morphemic dissociation in university students with dyslexia: An index of reading compensation?

Eddy Cavalli (Lead / Corresponding author), Lynne G. Duncan, Carsten Elbro, Abdessadek El Ahmadi, Pascale Colé (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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A phonological deficit constitutes a primary cause of developmental dyslexia, which persists into adulthood and can explain some aspects of their reading impairment. Nevertheless, some dyslexic adults successfully manage to study at university level, although very little is currently known about how they achieve this. The present study investigated at both the individual and group level, whether the development of another oral language skill, namely, morphological knowledge can be preserved and dissociated from the development of phonological knowledge. Reading, phonological and morphological abilities were measured in 20 dyslexic and 20 nondyslexic university students. The results confirmed the persistence of deficits in phonological but not morphological abilities, thereby revealing a dissociation in the development of these two skills. Moreover, the magnitude of the dissociation correlated with reading level. The outcome supports the claim that university students with dyslexia may compensate for phonological weaknesses by drawing on morphological knowledge in reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of Dyslexia
Issue number1
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • University students with dyslexia
  • Dissociation
  • Phoneme awareness
  • Morpheme awareness


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