Semantic involvement in the lexical and sentence processing of Japanese Kanji
Word and sentence processing
This study examined how skilled Japanese readers activate semantic information when reading kanji compound words at both the lexical and sentence levels. Experiment 1 used a lexical decision task for two-kanji compound words and nonwords. When nonwords were composed of kanji that were semantically similar to the kanji of real words, reaction times were longer and error rates were higher than when nonwords had kanji that were not semantically similar. Experiment 2 used a proofreading task (detection of kanji miscombinations) for the same two-kanji compound words and nonwords at the sentence level. In this task, semantically similar nonwords were detected faster than dissimilar nonwords, but error rates were much higher for the semantically similar nonwords. Experiment 3 used a semantic decision task for sentences with the same two-kanji compound words and nonwords. It took longer to detect semantically similar nonwords than dissimilar nonwords. This indicates that semantic involvement in the processing of Japanese kanji produces different effects, depending on whether this processing is done at the lexical or sentence level, which in turn is related to where the reader's attention lies.
Brain and language
Elsevier Science (USA)
Copyright (c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).