The most characteristically Semitic feature of Arabic orthography is its rich morphology (Azzam, 1989) which is based largely on a concatenative "root-and-pattern" (Abd El-Minem, 1987; Azzam, 1989).
In pointed Arabic orthography the grapheme-phoneme association is almost entirely one-to-one (Azzam, 1989), hence translating phonemes to graphemes should not pose any major difficulty.
Recently, several psycholinguistic studies have reported that the complexity of Arabic orthography slows the word identification process.
Unfortunately, this "self-teaching" function is impaired while learning to read Arabic orthography because there are different phonological systems with overlapping, although not identical, phonemic inventories and with different phontactic composition of syllables.
The researchers concluded that the native Arabic speakers experienced more difficulty in relation to Hebrew monolinguals and bilinguals in language processing, which might be related to the visual complexity of Arabic orthography.
As mentioned above, reading Arabic orthography with vowel diacritics might be expected to facilitate early decoding by reducing phonological ambiguity.
Returning to the Arabic orthography, there are a small number of studies that have investigated the relevance of reading speed to reading comprehension.