Volume 83, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Words' are often regarded as the basic units of language. Previous studies into metalinguistic and metalexical development have shown, however, that people are only able to segment words from written language if words are salient linguistic units in writing in their mother-tongue. And even then the question can be asked whether it is indeed someone's mother-tongue which affects the ability to segment language into words, or whether literacy and experience with a specific writing system are more influential.In two experiments, we investigated this influence from literacy and knowledge of a specific writing system on children's word-awareness in Dutch. What is more, we also tested bilingual children's character(zi)-awareness in Chinese. By comparing the results from these experiments, we could conclude that there seems to be some 'graphic relativity', which makes that people segment languages according to the lines given in lay-outs of written texts that they can read and write.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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