Chapter published in:Writing Systems, Reading Processes, and Cross-Linguistic Influences: Reflections from the Chinese, Japanese and Korean Languages
Edited by Hye K. Pae
[Bilingual Processing and Acquisition 7] 2018
► pp. 49–72
Chapter 3Visual factors in writing system variation
Measurement and implications for reading
We examine the visual properties of graphic forms and the role they play in reading within and across writing systems. We argue that writing-system factors determine the complexity of graphic forms, which affects perceptual processes in reading. We review studies we have carried out on graph complexity, including a description of GraphCom, a multidimensional system for quantifying complexity that we applied to 131 orthographies. We suggest that meeting the challenges of complexity leads to increased perceptual skills and report a comparison of the two scripts of Chinese, the most complex among the world’s writing systems. Use of the more complex traditional script is associated with greater perceptual performance compared with the simplified script, lending support to this suggestion.
- Writing systems, orthographies, and scripts
- Writing systems variations
- Graph complexity variation across writing systems
- The graph complexity measure, GraphCom
- Graph complexity for 131 orthographies across writing systems
- Reading traditional and simplified Chinese scripts
- A cross-script adult comparison
- General discussion: Measuring complexity and showing that it matters
- The mapping principle of writing systems that determines graph inventory and graph complexity
- Visual perceptual effects of processing traditional and simplified Chinese scripts
Published online: 10 July 2018
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