The Role of Short Vowels in Reading Arabic: A Critical Literature Review

  • Salim Abu-RabiaEmail author


The purpose of the present review is to examine the studies that tested the role of short vowels in reading Arabic. Most of the studies are reviewed in this paper and two contradicted data are presented: data that support positive contribution of short vowels in reading Arabic, and the other data that reject the assumption that short vowels contribute to the quality of reading, and suggest that these short vowels do not add any positive contribution and maybe the opposite; short vowels hinder reading in Arabic orthography. The results are criticized indicating some methodological problems and suggestions for further studies are presented.


Short vowels Arabic orthography Reading and short vowels Semitic languages 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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