Reading monomorphemic and compound words in Chinese
Lei Cui |
Shandong Normal University, China
Jukka Hyönä |
University of Turku, Finland |
Tomsk State University, Russia
Two lexical decision experiments were conducted to study the recognition of two-character Chinese monomorphemic and compound words by adult native Chinese readers. In Experiment 1, the words appeared non-spaced, whereas in Experiment 2 a space was inserted between the two characters. An interaction between word type and spacing reflects a trend for spacing to slow down the recognition of monomorphemic words and speed up that of compound words. The word frequency effect was steeper for monomorphemic than compound words. The number of strokes in the first and the second character influenced the recognition time for compound words, but not for monomorphemic words. The results are interpreted in the light of the parallel dual route model of morphological processing. The holistic route is more prevalent in recognizing Chinese monomorphemic, while the morphological decomposition route is more prevalent in processing Chinese compound words.
Keywords: Chinese, word recognition, morphological processing, spacing
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