ed on ends of words to indicate grammatical faction. Such a
task is required for reading accuracy (reading aloud) not neces-
sary in silent reading comprehension, which leads to a lack of
positive significant correlation between reading accuracy and
reading comprehension in Arabic orthography (Abu-Rabia,
2001; Saiegh-Haddad, in press).
Furthermore, in this study, it is argued that if the reading ac-
curacy of these Arabic highly proficient readers always needs
phonology (short vowelization), namely, the phonological stage
in Arabic reading development is continuous. This leads to the
conclusion that there is no skilled reader in Arabic, this if we
adopt the definition of the skilled reader, as it is in the reading
literature today. Some studies in the orthography of Arabic
indicate that the phonological stage in reading and spelling is a
continuous stage that accompanies readers and writers all their
lives (Abu-Rabia & Taha, 2004, 2006a, 2006b). These findings
suggest that the highest percentage rate of reading and spelling
errors made by readers was mainly phonological. Such a find-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 491
S. ABU-RABIA
ing enhances the phonological findings (short vowelization) of
the present study. Such a finding challenges reading develop-
ment of the reading theory today which leads scholars to con-
sider more cross orthographic studies for more expanded, com-
prehensive and revised reading theory.
In sum, reading morphological complex words in Arabic
even by native adult highly skilled Arabic readers occurs via a
morphological decomposing process which slows word recog-
nition process (Iviatar & Ibrahim, 2003). One of the key words
for reading accuracy of morphological complex words in Ara-
bic orthography is the root for initial lexical access. Further-
more, short vowelization is needed to facilitate reading accu-
racy in isolation and in sentential context. Namely, morpho-
logical knowledge and short vowelization are the key variables
in the process of reading accuracy even among adult highly
skilled readers.
I would like to end this discussion with the words of a great
Arabic grammarian who depicted the morphological complex-
ity of the Arabic language. Those are the words of Al-Khalil
ibn Ahmad who was born in 718 CE, Oman and died in 791,
Persia (cited in Al-Makhzuumii & As-Saamarraaii, 1988):
Know that the biradical root may be permut[ed] in two
ways, like qad—daq, šad—daš. The triradical root may be
permut[ed] in six ways: this is called “six-way variation”,
like d bara
 
—barad a
 
—bad ara
 
—rad aba
 
—rabad a
 
.
The quadriradical root may be permut[ed] in twenty-four
ways, because each of its four radicals may be combined
with the six permutations of the triradical roots, making a
total of twenty-four ways.
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