The Development of Orthographic Awareness for Radical Properties of Chinese Characters in Young Children


Radical properties are thought as important roles in Chinese character perception. Understanding radical knowledge is useful for learning Chinese vocabulary. However, the previous results investigating radical frequency or radical position showed inconsistent conclusions. Therefore, the present study focuses on manipulating radical position-based frequency and character-like degrees to examine the effects of the regularity of the two properties on Chinese character recognition. 210 Chinese-speaking elementary students were asked to judge if one of the two words are more likely to be legal word from 123 paired Chinese pseudo-words. The results indicates that: (a) there is a radical position regularity effect on orthographic awareness, which means the accuracy of high frequency radical is better than low frequency; (b) children can identify radical position regularity; (c) the ability of radical position awareness turns into stable through the experience of character recognition growing. Keywords: orthographic awareness, radical, position/frequency regularity, Chinese learning

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