Chinese character decoding: a semantic bias?

Chinese character decoding: a semantic bias? The effects of semantic and phonetic radicals on Chinese character decoding were examined. Our results suggest that semantic and phonetic radicals are each available for access when a corresponding task emphasizes one or the other kind of radical. But in a more neutral lexical recognition task, the semantic radical is more informative. Semantic radicals that correctly pertain to character meaning facilitated reaction time in semantic categorization tasks (Experiment #1), while radicals that had no immediately interpretable relation to character meaning had a strong inhibitory effect. Likewise, phonetic radicals that accurately indicated a character’s pronunciation facilitated a homonym recognition task (Experiment #2), whereas phonetic radicals that differed significantly in pronunciation from their character inhibited homonym recognition. In a lexical decision task (Experiment #3) where each character had either a blurred semantic radical or a blurred phonetic radical, the characters with a blurred semantic radical elicited a significantly higher error rate and a trend for longer response times. These results are interpreted to indicate that while educated native Chinese speakers have full use of both semantic and phonetic paths to character decoding, there is a slight predisposition to semantic decoding strategies over phonetic ones indicating that the semantic path is the default means of character recognition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Chinese character decoding: a semantic bias?

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/chinese-character-decoding-a-semantic-bias-8HZMk4AXOk
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-010-9228-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The effects of semantic and phonetic radicals on Chinese character decoding were examined. Our results suggest that semantic and phonetic radicals are each available for access when a corresponding task emphasizes one or the other kind of radical. But in a more neutral lexical recognition task, the semantic radical is more informative. Semantic radicals that correctly pertain to character meaning facilitated reaction time in semantic categorization tasks (Experiment #1), while radicals that had no immediately interpretable relation to character meaning had a strong inhibitory effect. Likewise, phonetic radicals that accurately indicated a character’s pronunciation facilitated a homonym recognition task (Experiment #2), whereas phonetic radicals that differed significantly in pronunciation from their character inhibited homonym recognition. In a lexical decision task (Experiment #3) where each character had either a blurred semantic radical or a blurred phonetic radical, the characters with a blurred semantic radical elicited a significantly higher error rate and a trend for longer response times. These results are interpreted to indicate that while educated native Chinese speakers have full use of both semantic and phonetic paths to character decoding, there is a slight predisposition to semantic decoding strategies over phonetic ones indicating that the semantic path is the default means of character recognition.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 6, 2010

References

  • The Chinese learner: A question of style
    Chan, S

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed
Create lists to
organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off