Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


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.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bai, X. , Yan, G. , Liversedge, S. P. , Zang, C. , & Rayner, K.
    (2008) Reading spaced and unspaced Chinese text: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, 1277–1287.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bronk, M. , Zwitserlood, P. , & Bölte, J.
    (2013) Manipulations of word frequency reveal differences in the processing of morphologically complex and simple words in German. Frontiers in Language Sciences, 4, 1–14.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Cai, Q. , & Brysbaert, M.
    (2010) SUBTLEX-CH: Chinese word and character frequencies based on film subtitles. PloS ONE, 5(6), e10729. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010729
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010729 [Google Scholar]
  4. Chen, C. , Huang, X. , & Yu, H.
    (2002) The processing mechanism of structurally symmetrical Chinese character recognition: An experimental research on radical-level process. Psychological Science (China), 25, 187–190.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Cui, L. , Drieghe, D. , Yan, G. , Bai, X. , Chi, H. , & Liversedge, P. S.
    (2013) Parafoveal processing across different lexical constituents in Chinese reading. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(2), 403–416. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2012.720265
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2012.720265 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cui, L. , Yan, G. , Bai, X. , Hyönä, J. , Wang, S. , & Liversedge, P. S.
    (2013) Processing of compound-word characters in reading Chinese: An eye-movement-contingent display change study. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(3), 527–547. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2012.667423
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2012.667423 [Google Scholar]
  7. Drieghe, D. , Pollatsek, A. , Juhasz, B. J. , & Rayner, K.
    (2010) Parafoveal processing during reading is reduced across a morphological boundary. Cognition, 116, 136–142. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.016 [Google Scholar]
  8. Feng, G.
    (2006) Eye movements as time-series random variables: A stochastic model of eye movement control in reading. Cognitive Systems Research, 7, 70–95. doi: 10.1016/j.cogsys.2005.07.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogsys.2005.07.004 [Google Scholar]
  9. Hoosain, R.
    (1992) Psychological reality of the word in Chinese. In H.-C. Chen & O. J. L. Tzeng (Eds.), Language processing in Chinese (pp.111–130). Amsterdam, Netherlands: North-Holland. doi: 10.1016/S0166‑4115(08)61889‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-4115(08)61889-0 [Google Scholar]
  10. Hsu, S.-H. , & Huang, K.-C.
    (2000) Interword spacing in Chinese text layout. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 91, 355–365. doi: 10.2466/pms.2000.91.2.355
    https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.2000.91.2.355 [Google Scholar]
  11. Huang, B. , & Wei, L.
    (2012) Modern Chinese (Chapter 4: Word), Peking University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Inhoff, A. W. , Briihl, D. , & Schwartz, J.
    (1996) Compound word effects differ in reading, on-line naming, and delayed naming tasks. Memory & Cognition, 24, 466–476. doi: 10.3758/BF03200935
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03200935 [Google Scholar]
  13. Jacobs, A. M. , & Grainger, J.
    (1992) Testing a semi-stochastic variant of the interactive activation model in different word recognition experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 18, 1174–1188.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Ji, H. , Gagné, C. L. , & Spalding, T. L.
    (2011) Benefits and costs of lexical decomposition and semantic integration during the processing of transparent and opaque English compounds. Journal of Memory and Language, 65, 406–430. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2011.07.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2011.07.003 [Google Scholar]
  15. Juhasz, B. J. , Inhoff, A. W. , & Rayner, K.
    (2005) The role of interword spaces in the processing of English compound words. Language & Cognitive Processes, 20, 291–316. doi: 10.1080/01690960444000133
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960444000133 [Google Scholar]
  16. Lai, Y. , & Myers, J.
    (2012) The recognition of spoken mono-morphemic compounds in Chinese. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, 10, 41–88.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Laine, M. , Vainio, S. , & Hyönä, J. (1999) Lexical access routes to nouns in a morphologically rich language. Journal of Memory and Language, 40, 109–135. doi: 10.1006/jmla.1998.2615
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1998.2615 [Google Scholar]
  18. Lexicon of Common Words in Contemporary Chinese
    Lexicon of Common Words in Contemporary Chinese (2008) Beijing: The Commercial Press.
  19. Li, H. , & Chen, H-C.
    (1999) Radical processing in Chinese character recognition: Evidence from illusory conjunction. Psychological Science (China), 22, 213–217.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Li, X. S. , Rayner, K. , & Cave, K.
    (2009) On the segmentation of Chinese words during reading. Cognitive Psychology, 58, 525–552. doi: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2009.02.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2009.02.003 [Google Scholar]
  21. Liu, Y. , & Peng, D.
    (1997) Meaning access of Chinese compounds and its time course. In Hsuan-Chih Chen (Eds.), Cognitive processing of Chinese and related Asian languages (pp.219–232). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Mattingly, I. G. , & Xu, Y.
    (1993) Word superiority in Chinese. Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research, SR-l13, 145–152.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Myers, J.
    (2006) Processing Chinese compounds: A survey of the literature. In G. Libben & G. Jarema (Eds.), The representation and processing of compound words (pp.169–196). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. (in press). Processing of Chinese compounds. In R. Sybesma , W. Behr , Y. Gu , Z. Handel , C.-T. J. Huang , & J. Myers Eds. Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Pollatsek, A. , Hyönä, J. , & Bertram, R.
    (2000) The role of morphological constituents in reading Finnish compound words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 26, 820–833.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. R Core Team
    R Core Team (2016) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URLhttps://www.R-project.org/.
  27. Rayner, K.
    (1975) The perceptual span and peripheral cues during reading. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 65–81. doi: 10.1016/0010‑0285(75)90005‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(75)90005-5 [Google Scholar]
  28. (1998) Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 372–422. doi: 10.1037/0033‑2909.124.3.372
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.124.3.372 [Google Scholar]
  29. Schreuder, R. , & Baayen, R. H.
    (1995) Modeling morphological processing. In L. B. Feldman (Eds.), Morphological aspects of language processing (pp.131–156). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Taft, M. , & Forster, K. I.
    (1976) Lexical storage and retrieval of polymorphemic and polysyllabic words. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 15, 607–620. doi: 10.1016/0022‑5371(76)90054‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-5371(76)90054-2 [Google Scholar]
  31. Taft, M. , Huang, J. & Zhu, X.
    (1994) The influence of character frequency on word recognition responses in Chinese. In H.-W. Chang , J. T. Huang , C.-W. Hue & O. Tzeng (Eds.), Advances in the study of Chinese language processing. Taipei: Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Yan, G. , Tian, H. , Bai, X. , & Rayner, K.
    (2006) The effect of word and character frequency on the eye movements of Chinese readers. British Journal of Psychology, 97, 259–268. doi: 10.1348/000712605X70066
    https://doi.org/10.1348/000712605X70066 [Google Scholar]
  33. Yeh, S.-L. , & Li, J.-L.
    (2002) Role of structure and component in judgments of visual similarity of Chinese characters. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 28, 933–947.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Zhou, X. Marslen-Wilson, W. , Taft, M. , & Shu, H.
    (1999) Morphology, orthography, and phonology in reading Chinese compound words. Language and Cognitive Processes, 14, 525–565. doi: 10.1080/016909699386185
    https://doi.org/10.1080/016909699386185 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Chinese; morphological processing; spacing; word recognition
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error