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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 16, Issue 2-3, Pages 145-158

Letter Form as a Constraint for Errors in Neglect Dyslexia and Letter Position Dyslexia

Naama Friedmann1 and Aviah Gvion1,2

1Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
2Reuth Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

Received 15 December 2005; Accepted 15 December 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Does letter-form constrain errors in peripheral dyslexia? In Hebrew, 5 of the 22 letters have two different letter forms, one is used only when the letter occurs in word-final position, the other form is used in initial and middle positions. Is the information on final-forms encoded in the letter identity information and used for word identification, or is it discarded? The current research explored this question through the effect of final vs. non final letter form on the error pattern in neglect dyslexia (neglexia) and letter position dyslexia (LPD). Left word-based neglexia results in errors of omission, substitution and addition of letters in the left side of words, which in Hebrew is the end of the word. We examined whether final letter form blocks the addition of letters to the end of the word and whether omissions of letters after letters in non-final form are avoided. The predominant error type in LPD is migration of letters within words. We tested whether migrations also occur when they cause form change of either final-form letters that move to middle position or middle-form letters that move to final position. These questions were assessed in both acquired and developmental neglexia and LPD. The results indicated a strong effect of final letter-form on acquired neglexia and on acquired and developmental LPD, which almost completely prevented form-changing errors. This effect was not found in developmental neglexia, where words that end in final-form letters were actually more impaired than other words, probably because final-form letters appear only on the neglected side of the word for Hebrew-reading children with left developmental neglexia. These data show that early visuo-orthographic analysis is sensitive to final letter form and that final letter form constrains errors in peripheral dyslexia.