Orthographic Neighborhood Effects in Chinese Reading: A Self-Paced Reading Experiment
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Guangxue Dai, Jian Huang, Xiqin Liu
Orthographic neighbors are adjacent words or characters that are similar in sound or written form or both. This research explores whether orthographic neighbors have impacts on character recognition in Chinese reading. In a non-accumulative Self-Paced Reading (SPR) experiment, 52 native Chinese speakers were each presented with 130 Chinese sentences. Three types of prime characters were used: characters that are phonologically and orthographically similar, characters that are only orthographically similar, and irrelevant characters. Each participant’s reaction time (RT) was collected. Experimental results revealed that: (1) When prime characters were phonologically and orthographically similar to target characters, there was no significant difference in participants’ RT based on their responses to Ns, N-1s, N+1s, N+2s; (2) When prime characters were only orthographically similar to target characters, there was still no significant change in the readers’ performance. The study implies that SPR may not be sensitive enough for detecting the effects of orthographic neighbors in Chinese reading.
orthographic neighbor, Self-Paced Reading, Chinese reading, Chinese character recognition