We explored the effect of stroke removal from Chinese characters on eye movements during reading to examine the role of stroke encoding in character identification. Experimental sentences were comprised of characters with different proportions of strokes removed (15, 30, and 50%), and different types of strokes removed (beginning, ending, and strokes that ensured the configuration of the character was retained). Reading times, number of fixations and regression measures all showed that Chinese characters with 15% of strokes removed were as easy to read as Chinese characters without any strokes removed. However, when 30%, or more of a character’s strokes were removed, reading characters with their configuration retained was easiest, characters with ending strokes removed were more difficult, whilst characters with beginning strokes removed were most difficult to read. The results strongly suggest that not all strokes within a character have equal status during character identification, and a flexible stroke encoding system must underlie successful character identification during Chinese reading.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 26, 2011
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