Skip to main content

Script relativity hypothesis: evidence from reading with different spatial layouts and varied lexical tone

Abstract

A contemporary question is whether the script we read in affects our cognition, termed the script relativity hypothesis (Pae in: Script effects as the hidden drive of the mind, cognition, and culture, Springer, Berlin, 2020). The aim of this review is to examine variation in spatial layout (interword spaces and linear-nonlinear configuration) and representation of lexical tone across scripts and whether disparities in those features affect cognition. Both script features are strong candidates for potentially producing script relativity effects. Readers of densely crowded nonlinear scripts (e.g., Thai, Sinhala) may have heightened visuo-perceptual abilities in comparison to readers of linear scripts (e.g., Roman script). Tonal languages vary in terms of both their relative complexity and whether they orthographically encode this feature in their script. This variation may produce differences in sensitivity to tone perception and auditory perceptual skills in readers of tonal languages that do and do not orthographically represent tone in the script and in contrast to readers of non-tonal languages. The empirical research reviewed tends to support a weaker version of the script relativity hypothesis, where there is a channeling effect on attention due to script-specific features while actually reading. The question is still open to debate as to whether this attention allocation translates into more profound, nonlinguistic cognitive consequences. Notably, the research reviewed was not specifically designed to investigate the script relativity hypothesis. In order to investigate longer-term cognitive consequences of this script variation, carefully designed studies need to be conducted with this overriding goal in mind. Future research needs to include other lesser studied languages and their scripts so that we can ascertain what are common cognitive patterns or processes and what are shaped by variation in script-specific features.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Abramson, A. (2014). Tones and voice registers. In H. Winskel & P. Padakannaya (Eds.), South and southeast Asian psycholinguistics (pp. 223–232). Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Athanasopoulos, P., Bylund, E., & Casasanto, D. (2016). Special issue: New and interdisciplinary approaches to linguistic relativity. Language Learning, 66.

  • Athanasopoulos, P., & Casaponsa, A. (2020). The whorfian brain: Neuroscientific approaches to linguistic relativity. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 37, 393–412.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Azhar, M., Chen, Y., & Campbell, J. I. D. (2020). Reading direction and spatial effects in parity and arithmetic tasks. Psychology Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01397-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.34.5.1277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bidelman, G. M., Hutka, S., & Moreno, S. (2013). Tone language speakers and musicians share enhanced perceptual and cognitive abilities for musical pitch: Evidence for bidirection ality between the domains of language and music. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e60676. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060676

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bolger, D. J., Perfetti, C. A., & Schneider, W. (2005). Cross-cultural effect on the brain revisited: Universal structures plus writing system variation. Human Brain Mapping, 25(1), 92–104. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20124

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bowerman, M., & Choi, S. (2003). Space under construction: Language-specific spatial categorization in first language acquisition. In D. Gentner & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and thought (pp. 387–427). MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chambers, S. M. (1979). Letter and order information in lexical access. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 18, 225–241.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cheung, H., Chung, K. K. H., Wong, S. W. L., McBride-Chang, C., Penney, T. B., & Ho, C. S. H. (2009). Perception of tone and aspiration contrasts in Chinese children with dyslexia. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(6), 726–733.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Choi, S., & Bowerman, M. (1991). Learning to express motion events in English and Korean. The influence of language-specific lexicalisation patterns. Cognition, 41, 83–121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Choi, S., McDonough, L., Bowerman, M., & Mandler, J. M. (1999). Early sensitivity to language-specific spatial categories in English and Korean. Cognitive Development, 14, 241–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Coltheart, M. (2000). Dual routes from print to speech and dual routes from print to meaning: Some theoretical issues. In A. Kennedy, R. Radach, D. Heller, & J. Pynte (Eds.), Reading as a perceptual process (pp. 475–490). North-Holland.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Daniels, P. T., & Share, D. L. (2018). Writing system variation and its consequences for reading and dyslexia. Scientific Studies of Reading, 22(1), 101–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2017.1379082

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dehaene, S. (2005). Evolution of human cortical circuits for reading and arithmetic: The neuronal recycling hypothesis. In S. Dehaene, J-R., Duhamel, M. D. Hauser, & G. Rizzolatti (Eds.), From monkey brain to human brain. A Fyssen Foundation Symposium (133–157). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Dehaene, S., & Cohen, L. (2007). Cultural recycling of cortical maps. Neuron, 56(2), 384–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2007.10.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dehaene, S., Cohen, L., Morais, J., & Kolinsky, R. (2015). Illiterate to literate: Behavioural and cerebral changes induced by reading acquisition. Nature Review Neuroscience, 16(4), 234–244. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3924

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dehaene, S., Cohen, L., Sigman, M., & Vinckier, F. (2005). The neural code for written words: A proposal. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 335–341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2005.05.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dehaene, S., Pegado, F., Braga, L. W., Ventura, P., Nunes Filho, G., Jobert, A., & Cohen, L. (2010). How learning to read changes the cortical networks for vision and language. Science, 330, 1359–1364. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1194140

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Monzalvo, K., & Dehaene, S. (2018). The emergence of the visual word form: Longitudinal evolution of category-specific ventral visual areas during reading acquisition. PLoS Biology, 16(3), e2004103. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2004103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DeMarco, A. T., Wilson, S. M., Rising, K., Rapcsak, S. Z., & Beeson, P. M. (2017). Neural substrates of sublexical processing for spelling. Brain and Language, 164, 118–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2016.10.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ding, Y., Liu, R.-D., McBride, C., & Zhang, D. (2015). Pinyin invented spelling in Mandarin Chinese-speaking children with and without reading difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(6), 635–645. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219414522704

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eimas, P. D., Siqueland, E. R., Jusczyk, P., & Vigorito, J. (1971). Speech perception in infants. Science, 171(3968), 303–306. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.171.3968.303

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Estes, W. K., Allmeyer, D. H., & Reder, S. M. (1976). Serial position functions for letter identification at brief and extended exposure durations. Perception & Psychophysics, 19, 1–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Friedrich, T. E., & Elias, L. J. (2016). The write bias: The influence of native writing direction on aesthetic preference biases. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10(2), 128–133.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Göbel, S. M. (2015). Up or down? Reading direction influences vertical counting direction in the horizontal plane—A cross-cultural comparison. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 228.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gómez, P., Ratcliff, R., & Perea, M. (2008). The overlap model: A model of letter position coding. Psychological Review, 115, 577–601.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huettig, F., Kolinsky, R., & Lachmann, T. (2018). The culturally co-opted brain: How literacy affects the human mind. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(3), 275–277. https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2018.1425803

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hyman, L. M. (2016). Lexical vs. grammatical tone: Sorting out the differences. Tonal Aspects of Language. https://doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2016-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Inhoff, A., Radach, R., & Heller, D. (2000). Complex compounds in German: Interword spaces facilitate segmentation but hinder assignment of meaning. Journal of Memory and Language, 42, 23–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jared, D., Levy, B. A., & Rayner, K. (1999). The role of phonology in the activation of word meanings during reading: Evidence from proofreading and eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 128, 219–264. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.128.3.219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jayawardena, R., & Winskel, H. (2016). Assessing the Modified Receptive Field (MRF) theory: Evidence from Sinhalese-English bilinguals. Acta Psychologica, 171, 65–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.09.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jincho, N., Feng, G., & Mazuka, R. (2014). Development of text reading in Japanese: An eye movement study. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 27(8), 1437–1465. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-014-9500-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, T. R., Patching, G. R., & Thomas, S. M. (2003). Assessing the role of hemispheric specialization, serial-position processing and retinal eccentricity in lateralized word perception. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 20, 49–71.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Juhasz, B. J., Inhoff, A. W., & Rayner, K. (2005). The role of interword spaces in the processing of English compound words. Language and Cognitive Processes, 20, 291–316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kasisopa, B., Reilly, R. G., Luksaneeyanawin, S., & Burnham, D. (2013). Eye movements while reading an unspaced writing system: The case of Thai. Vision Research, 86, 71–80.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kasisopa, B., Reilly, R. G., Luksaneeyanawin, S., & Burnham, D. (2016). Child readers’ eye movements in reading Thai. Vision Research, 123, 8–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2015.07.009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kuhl, P. K. (2011). Early language learning and literacy: Neuroscience implications for education. Mind, Brain, & Education, 5(3), 128–142. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-228X.2011.01121.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kumar, U., & Padakannaya, P. (2019). The effect of written scripts’ dissimilarity over ventral and dorsal reading pathway: Combined fMRI & DTI study. Reading and Writing, 32, 2311–2325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-019-09952-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levelt, W. (1989). Speaking. MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, C., Lin, C. Y., Wang, M., & Jiang, N. (2013). The activation of segmental and tonal information in visual word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin Review, 20, 773–779. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-013-0395-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, W., & Ho, C. (2011a). Lexical tone awareness among Chinese children with developmental dyslexia. Journal of Child Language, 38(4), 793–808. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000910000346

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, W. S., & Ho, C.S.-H. (2011b). Lexical tone awareness among Chinese children with developmental dyslexia. Journal of Child Language, 38, 793–808.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lupyan, G., Abdel Rahman, R., Boroditsky, L., & Clark, A. (2020). Effects of language on visual perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 24, 930–944.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maier, M., & Abdel Rahman, R. (2018). Native language promotes access to visual consciousness. Psychological Science, 29(11), 1757–1772.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Majid, A., et al. (2018). Differential coding of perception in the world’s languages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 11369–11376.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Manguel, A. (1996). A history of reading. New York, NY: Viking.

  • McBride-Chang, C., Lam, F., Lam, C., Doo, S., Wong, S. W. L., & Chow, Y. Y. Y. (2008). Word recognition and cognitive profiles of Chinese pre-school children at risk for dyslexia through language delay or familial history of dyslexia. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 211–218.

    Google Scholar 

  • McBride-Chang, T. X., Shu, H., Wong, A.M.-Y., Leung, K.-W., & Tardif, T. (2008). Syllable, phoneme and tone: Psycholinguistic units in early Chinese and English word recognition. Scientific Studies of Reading, 12, 1–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meyer, A.S., Roelofs, A., & Brehm, L. (2019). Thirty years of Speaking: An introduction to the Special Issue. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34, 1073–1084.

  • Mirault, J., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2019). Reading without spaces: The role of precise letter order. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 81, 846–860. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-018-01648-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morris, R. K., Rayner, K., & Pollatsek, A. (1990). Eye movement guidance in reading: The role of parafoveal letter and space information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 16, 268–281.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Reagan, J. K. (1990). Eye movements and reading. Eye movements and their role in visual and cognitive processesIn E. Kowler (Ed.), Reviews of oculomotor research (Vol. 4, pp. 395–453). Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Padakannaya, P., Devi, M. L., Zaveria, B., Chengappa, S. K., & Vaid, J. (2002). Directional scanning effect and strength of reading habit in picture naming and recall. Brain and Cognition, 48(2–3), 484–490.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pae, H. K. (2020). Script effects as the hidden drive of the mind, cognition, and culture. Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Papafragou, A., & Grigoroglou, M. (2019). The role of conceptualization during language production: Evidence from event encoding. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34, 1117–1128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Papafragou, A., Hulbert, J., & Trueswell, J. C. (2008). Does language guide event perception? Evidence from eye movements. Cognition, 108, 155–184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paulesu, E., McCrory, E., Fazio, F., Menoncello, L., Brunswick, N., Cappa, S. F., Cotelli, M., Cossu, G., Corte, F., Lorusso, M., Pesenti, S., Gallagher, A., Perani, D., Price, C., Frith, C. D., & Frith, U. (2000). A cultural effect on brain function. Nature Neuroscience, 3(1), 91–96. https://doi.org/10.1038/71163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perea, M. (1998). Orthographic neighbours are not all equal: Evidence using an identification technique. Language and Cognitive Processes, 13, 77–90.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perfetti, C. A., & Dunlap, S. (2008). Learning to read: General principles and writing system variations. In K. Koda & A. Zehler (Eds.), Learning to read across languages (pp. 13–38). Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pham, H., & Baayen, R. H. (2015). Vietnamese compounds show an anti-frequency effect in visual lexical decision. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30, 1077–1095.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Radach, R., & Kennedy, A. (2004). Theoretical perspectives on eye movements in reading. Past controversies, current deficits and an agenda for future research. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 16, 3–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rayner, K. (1998). Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 372–422.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rayner, K., Fischer, M. H., & Pollatsek, A. (1998). Unspaced text interferes with both word identification and eye movement control. Vision Research, 38, 1129–1144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rayner, K., & Kaiser, J. S. (1975). Reading mutilated text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 301–306.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Remijsen, B. (2016). “Tone,” in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics Online (Oxford: Oxford University Press). https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.109

  • Ryherd, K., Jasinska, K., Van Dyke, J. A., Hung, Y.-H., Baron, E., Mencl, W. E., & Landi, N. (2018). Cortical regions supporting reading comprehension skill for single words and discourse. Brain and Language, 186, 32–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2018.08.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saenger, P. (1997). Space between words: The origins of silent reading. Stanford University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Sainio, M., Hyönä, J., Bingushi, K., & Bertram, R. (2007). The role of interword spacing in reading Japanese: An eye movement study. Vision Research, 47, 2575–2584. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2007.05.017

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seghier, M. L., Maurer, U., & Xue, G. (2014). What makes written words so special to the brain? [Editorial]. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, Article 634. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00634

  • Share, D., & Daniels, P. (2016). Aksharas, alphasyllabaries, abugidas, alphabets and orthographic depth: Reflections on Rimzhim, Katz, and Fowler (2014). Writing Systems Research, 8, 17–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shu, H., Peng, H., & McBride-Chang, C. (2008). Phonological awareness in young Chinese children. Developmental Science, 11, 171–181.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simons, D. J., & Rensink, R. A. (2005). Change blindness: Past, present, and future. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(1), 16–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2004.11.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, M., Vaid, J., & Sakhuja, T. (2000). Reading/writing vs. Handedness influences on line length estimation. Brain and Cognition, 43, 398–402.

    Google Scholar 

  • Slobin, D. I. (1996). From “thought and language” to “thinking for speaking.” In J. J. Gumperz & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity (pp. 70–96). Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Slobin, D. I. (2003). Language and thought online: Cognitive consequences of linguistic relativity. In D. Gentner & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the investigation of language and thought (pp. 157–191). MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Soroli, E., & Verkerk, A. (2017). Motion events in Greek: Methodological and typological issues. CogniTextes. https://doi.org/10.4000/cognitextes.889

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spinks, J. A., Liu, Y., Perfetti, C. A., & Tan, L. H. (2000). Reading Chinese characters for meaning: The role of phonological information. Cognition, 76, B1–B11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spragins, A. B., Lefton, L. A., & Fischer, D. F. (1976). Eye movements while reading and searching spatially transformed text: A developmental perspective. Memory and Cognition, 4, 36–42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Strömqvist, S., & Verhoeven, L. (2004). Typological and contextual perspectives on narrative development. In S. Strömqvist. & L. Verhoeven. (Eds.), Relating events in narrative: Typological and contextual perspectives (pp. 89–112). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Stroop, J. R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18, 643–662. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.121.1.15

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sun, Y., Yang, Y., Desroches, A. S., Liu, L., & Peng, D. (2011). The role of the ventral and dorsal pathways in reading Chinese characters and English words. Brain and Language, 119(2), 80–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2011.03.012

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics. MIT Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Tan, L. H., & Perfetti, C. A. (1999). Phonological activation in visual identification of Chinese two-character words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 25(2), 382–393. https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.25.2.382

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tong, X., Tong, X., & McBride-Chang, C. (2015). Tune in to the tone: Lexical tone identification is associated with vocabulary and word recognition abilities in young Chinese children. Language and Speech. 2015;58(4):441–458. https://doi.org/10.1177/0023830914562988

  • Tong, Y. X., Francis, A. L., & Gandour, J. T. (2007). Processing dependencies between segmental and suprasegmental features in Mandarin Chinese. Language & Cognitive Processes, 23, 689–708.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tosun, S., & Vaid, J. (2014). What affects facing direction in human facial profile drawing? A meta-analytic inquiry. Perception, 43, 1377–1392.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tydgat, I., & Grainger, J. (2009). Serial position effects in the identification of letters, digits, and symbols. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35, 480–498. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013027

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vaid, J. (1995). Script directionality affects nonlinguistic performance: Evidence from Hindi and Urdu. In I. Taylor & D. R. Olson (Eds.), Scripts and literacy: Reading and learning to read alphabets, syllabaries and characters (pp. 295–310). Kluwer Academic.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, H. S., Huss, M., Hämäläinen, J. A., & Goswami, U. (2012). Basic auditory processing and developmental dyslexia in Chinese. Reading and Writing, 25, 509–536.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, M., Perfetti, C., & Liu, Y. (2005). Chinese-English biliteracy acquisition: Cross-language and writing system transfer. Cognition, 97, 67–78.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Werker, J. F., & Tees, R. C. (1984). Cross-language speech perception: Evidence for perceptual reorganization during the first year of life. Infant Behavior, 7(1), 49–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-6383(84)80022-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • White, S. J., Johnson, R. L., Liversedge, S. P., & Rayner, K. (2008). Eye movements when reading transposed text: The importance of word-beginning letters. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, 1261–1276.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whorf, B. L. (1956). Language, thought and reality. In J. Carroll (Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Winskel, H. & Ratitamkul, T. (2019). Learning to read and write in Thai. In R.M. Joshi & C. McBride-Chang (Eds) (pp. 217–234). Handbook of literacy in akshara orthographies. Literacy Studies series, Springer.

  • Winskel, H. (2009). Reading in Thai: The case of misaligned vowels. Reading and Writing. an Interdisciplinary Journal, 22(1), 1–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Winskel, H. (2014). Learning to read and write in Thai. In H. Winskel & P. Padakannaya (Eds.), South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics (pp. 171–178). Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winskel, H., & Iemwanthong, K. (2010). Reading and spelling acquisition in Thai children. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 23, 1021–1053.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Winskel, H., & Perea, M. (2014). Does tonal information affect the early stages of visual word processing in Thai? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(2), 209–219.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Winskel, H., Perea, M., & Peart, E. (2014). Testing the flexibility of the modified receptive field (MRF) theory: Evidence from an unspaced orthography (Thai). Acta Psychologica, 150, 55–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Winskel, H., Radach, R., & Luksaneeyanawin, S. (2009). Eye movements when reading spaced and unspaced Thai and English: A comparison of Thai-English bilinguals and English monolinguals. Journal of Memory and Language, 61, 339–351.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Winskel, H., Ratitamkul, T., & Charoensit, A. (2017). The role of tone and segmental information in visual-word recognition in Thai. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(7), 1282–1291. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1181095

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wolfe, J. M. (2020). Major issues in the study of visual search: Part 2 of “40 Years of Feature Integration: Special Issue in Memory of Anne Treisman”. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 82(2), 383–393. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-020-02022-1

  • Yan, M., Pan, J., & Kliegl, R. (2019). Eye movement control in Chinese reading: A cross-sectional study. Developmental Psychology, 55(11), 2275–2285. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000819

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yin, L., Li, W., Chen, X., Anderson, R. C., Zhang, J., Shu, H., & Jiang, W. (2011). The role of tone awareness and pinyin knowledge in Chinese reading. Writing Systems Research, 3, 59–68.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yip, M. (2002). Tone. (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Zhang, J., et al. (2020). Tonal language speakers are better able to segregate competing speech according to talker sex differences. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 63(3), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-19-00421

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Heather Winskel.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Winskel, H. Script relativity hypothesis: evidence from reading with different spatial layouts and varied lexical tone. Read Writ 35, 1323–1341 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-021-10225-7

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-021-10225-7

Keywords

  • Interword spaces
  • Lexical tone
  • Nonlinearity
  • Script relativity hypothesis
  • Spatial layout