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ERIC Number: EJ1049633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
Cracking the Chinese Character: Radical Sensitivity in Learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language and Its Relationship to Chinese Word Reading
Tong, Xiuli; Yip, Joanna Hew Yan
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v28 n2 p159-181 Feb 2015
Radicals are building blocks of Chinese complex characters and exhibit certain positional, phonological and semantic regularities. This study investigated whether adult non-native learners of Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) were aware of the positional (orthographic), phonological and semantic information of radicals, and whether such radical sensitivity was predictive to their Chinese word reading abilities. Eighty-four CFL learners were administered a picture-character mapping task in the no cue, phonetic cue and semantic cue conditions, along with two character reading aloud tasks. CFL learners tended to choose the options of correct radicals in correct positions more than the ones containing correct radicals in incorrect positions when no cue was provided. A semantic radical bias was observed in both the no cue and semantic cue conditions: CFL learners chose semantic radicals in correct positions more than phonetic radicals in correct positions. But the pattern was reversed when phonetic cue was provided. In addition, radical sensitivity uniquely predicted CFL learners' word reading even after controlling for years of learning Mandarin Chinese. Results showed that CFL learners employed orthographic, phonological and semantic information of radicals in encoding novel characters in a manner largely similar to that of native Chinese readers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A