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. 179–200
Introduction to the multi-script Japanese writing system and word processing
The general consensus among writing-systems researchers is that the Japanese writing system (JWS) is remarkably complex (Joyce, 2002a, 2011). This introductory chapter consists of two main parts that, respectively, provide an overview of the multi-script JWS and a selective review of psycholinguistic research on Japanese visual word processing. More specifically, after outlining its historical development, Part 2 focuses on the contemporary JWS and on highlighting the complex conventions that simultaneously underlie how the component scripts are employed together in essentially complementary ways while effectively sanctioning its pervasive levels of orthographic variation. In contrast, the shorter Part 3 reflects on how JWS’s complexity both poses certain challenges and also affords unique opportunities for investigating the complicated interactions involved in word processing.
Keywords: Japanese multi-script writing system, Japanese word processing, orthographic conventions, orthographic variation
Published online: 10 July 2018
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