The roles of configuration and orthography in Chinese recognition: a developmental approach


In Chinese, character configuration and orthographic combination are acknowledged to influence character recognition. Also, it was widely accepted that lexical access ability progresses as reading skills improved and vocabulary increased. The present study aims to reveal the effects of configuration type and radical properties by comparing different development stages of Chinese learning. A character decision task was used in which radical position-based frequency and radical position regularities within two different configurations were manipulated. 15 third-grade 27 sixth-grade schoolers, and 41 undergraduate students were asked to identify whether the 120 pseudo-words conform to radical position regularities. Accuracy was recorded as measurement to examine the effects of configuration and orthographic combination. The analysis revealed different patterns of frequency effect and regularity effect between the two configurations. Furthermore, age variation was observed for both types of configurations. In conclusion, orthographic and configuration knowledge are acquired gradually and play distinct roles in Chinese recognition.

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