Brief Reports

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 561-566

First online:

Readers of Chinese extract semantic information from parafoveal words

  • Ming YanAffiliated withBeijing Normal UniversityDepartment of Psychology, University of PotsdamPeking University
  • , Eike M. RichterAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Potsdam
  • , Hua ShuAffiliated withBeijing Normal University Email author 
  • , Reinhold KlieglAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Potsdam Email author 


Evidence for semantic preview benefit (PB) from parafoveal words has been elusive for reading alphabetic scripts such as English. Here we report semantic PB for noncompound characters in Chinese reading with the boundary paradigm. In addition, PBs for orthographic relatedness and, as a numeric trend, for phonological relatedness were obtained. Results are in agreement with other research suggesting that the Chinese writing system is based on a closer association between graphic form and meaning than is alphabetic script. We discuss implications for notions of serial attention shifts and parallel distributed processing of words during reading.