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Reading and Writing

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 607–625 | Cite as

The time course of incremental word processing during Chinese reading

  • Junyi Zhou
  • Guojie Ma
  • Xingshan Li
  • Marcus Taft
Article

Abstract

In the current study, we report two eye movement experiments investigating how Chinese readers process incremental words during reading. These are words where some of the component characters constitute another word (an embedded word). In two experiments, eye movements were monitored while the participants read sentences with incremental words whose first two characters (Experiment 1) or last two characters (Experiment 2) constituted a word (referred to respectively as “head-embedded” and “tail embedded”). Reading times on these words were longer when the frequencies of the embedded words were lower. However, this was only seen on first fixation duration for head-embedded words. These results suggest that embedded words are activated when Chinese readers process incremental words, and that this activation is earlier for a head-embedded word than for a tail-embedded word. These results support a hierarchical model which assumes that the representation for whole word is activated via the representation of its constituent morphemes.

Keywords

Word processing Eye movements Chinese reading 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (31571125), and the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Imaging Technology (BAICIT-2016018).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junyi Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guojie Ma
    • 3
  • Xingshan Li
    • 1
  • Marcus Taft
    • 4
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Physical Education and Sport ScienceFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience, School of PsychologyShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina
  4. 4.School of PsychologyUniversity of NSWSydneyAustralia

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