Emerging development of semantic and phonological routes to character decoding in Chinese as a foreign language learners

Emerging development of semantic and phonological routes to character decoding in Chinese as a... This study examines the effects of semantic and phonetic radicals on Chinese character decoding by high-intermediate level Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learners. The results of the study suggest that the CFL learners tested have a well-developed semantic pathway to recognition; however, their phonological pathway is not yet a reliable means of character identification. Semantic radicals that correctly pertain to character meaning facilitated reaction time in semantic categorization tasks, while radicals that had no immediately interpretable relation to character meaning had a strong inhibitory effect. The relative accuracy of phonetic radicals (for predicting the whole-character’s pronunciation) did not measurably improve homonym recognition. In a lexical decision task (Experiment 3), the subjects were significantly slower in identifying pseudo-characters when the phonological component was blurred, indicating that, despite having unreliable phonological pathways to character recognition, the subjects were still using phonological radical analysis as their default recognition strategy; however, the author argues that the radical is likely being used for orthographic disambiguation more than for phonological properties. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Emerging development of semantic and phonological routes to character decoding in Chinese as a foreign language learners

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Linguistics; Languages and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education (general); Neurology; Interdisciplinary Studies
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-012-9368-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examines the effects of semantic and phonetic radicals on Chinese character decoding by high-intermediate level Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learners. The results of the study suggest that the CFL learners tested have a well-developed semantic pathway to recognition; however, their phonological pathway is not yet a reliable means of character identification. Semantic radicals that correctly pertain to character meaning facilitated reaction time in semantic categorization tasks, while radicals that had no immediately interpretable relation to character meaning had a strong inhibitory effect. The relative accuracy of phonetic radicals (for predicting the whole-character’s pronunciation) did not measurably improve homonym recognition. In a lexical decision task (Experiment 3), the subjects were significantly slower in identifying pseudo-characters when the phonological component was blurred, indicating that, despite having unreliable phonological pathways to character recognition, the subjects were still using phonological radical analysis as their default recognition strategy; however, the author argues that the radical is likely being used for orthographic disambiguation more than for phonological properties.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 25, 2012

References

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