Japanese script types in written names create the images of their referents


This study investigated how the unknown objects names written in different Japanese script types (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji) would create the images of their referents. Previous studies suggested that writers would creatively use the script types for communicating emotional semantic information to readers. Although there are various factors affecting images of referents, how the factors have effects on them has not been investigated sufficiently. We presented Japanese undergraduates with 10 names of ethnic foods unknown to them. The participants read each name written in one of three script types and described the images of its referent. Their descriptions were analyzed by KH Coder (a freeware for text mining). The result shows the images of referents are influenced by the Japanese writing system, general visual features of each script type, and phonological features of words.

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