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ERIC Number: EJ977655
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1076-898X
Eye Movements of Second Language Learners when Reading Spaced and Unspaced Chinese Text
Shen, Deli; Liversedge, Simon P.; Tian, Jin; Zang, Chuanli; Cui, Lei; Bai, Xuejun; Yan, Guoli; Rayner, Keith
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, v18 n2 p192-202 Jun 2012
The effect of spacing in relation to word segmentation was examined for four groups of non-native Chinese speakers (American, Korean, Japanese, and Thai) who were learning Chinese as second language. Chinese sentences with four types of spacing information were used: unspaced text, word-spaced text, character-spaced text, and nonword-spaced text. Also, participants' native languages were different in terms of their basic characteristics: English and Korean are spaced, whereas the other two are unspaced; Japanese is character based whereas the other three are alphabetic. Thus, we assessed whether any spacing effects were modulated by native language characteristics. Eye movement measures showed least disruption to reading for word-spaced text and longer reading times for unspaced than character-spaced text, with nonword-spaced text yielding the most disruption. These effects were uninfluenced by native language (though reading times differed between groups as a result of Chinese reading experience). Demarcation of word boundaries through spacing reduces non-native readers' uncertainty about the characters that constitute a word, thereby speeding lexical identification, and in turn, reading. More generally, the results indicate that words have psychological reality for those who are learning to read Chinese as a second language, and that segmentation of text into words is more beneficial to successful comprehension than is separating individual Chinese characters with spaces. (Contains 3 figures, 2 tables, and 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China