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ERIC Number: ED353553
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Western Reading Strategies and Japanese Texts: The Effects of Punctuation Deletion.
Saito, Yoshiko
A study compared native and nonnative reading styles in order to see whether Japanese readers process text differently than readers whose native language uses a phonetic alphabet. Subjects, 29 native readers of Japanese, 37 advanced-level nonnatives and 39 intermediate-level nonnatives enrolled in Japanese language courses were randomly assigned to read a letter written by a Japanese native and a recent newspaper article prepared in the same way--both were either authentic texts with punctuation, authentic texts without punctuation, or text in which all ideographic symbols (kanji) have been removed and replaced with the phonetic writing known as kana. Reading time, reading comprehension, and the number of right corrections of punctuation missing from the text were measured. Results indicated that: (1) as their Japanese language levels increased, nonnatives were able to process more information from the text in less time and their abilities to insert punctuation into texts increased; (2) native speakers agreed upon the position of periods, but used commas where they felt they needed a pause during reading; (3) no statistical main effect was detected for the variable of reading time or for comprehension scores for graphic representation type across the three language levels; and (4) a significant main effect was found for the punctuation-insertion task scores. Findings suggest that the function of punctuation, particularly periods, plays an important role in helping readers of Japanese to organize information and reduce cognitive overload during their phonetic decoding process. (Two tables of data are included; 18 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A