This study examined the semantic effect on retrieval of radicals ofJapanese kanji. In the retrieval task, a stimulus word written inhiragana (Japanese syllabary) was presented one by one on a display, andparticipants quickly named the left radical of the target kanjicharacter that corresponded to the stimulus hiragana word. It was foundthat the mean naming latency was shorter and fewer errors were made whenthe left radicals were semantically related to the target kanji thanwhen they were not. Also remarkable was a momentary retrieval failure(i.e., no response) characterized as a `tip-of-the-pen' state which evena high-frequency word precipitated more often in the semanticallyunrelated condition. These results highlight a critical role thatmeaning plays in the activation of orthographic forms of kanji. Somecharacteristic features of writing in kanji are discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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