Developmental dyslexia in Chinese

Catherine McBRIDE-CHANG, Xiuhong TONG, Jianhong MO

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


The etiology and markers of developmental dyslexia in Chinese may differ somewhat from those of alphabetic orthographies. Whereas the hallmark of dyslexia in alphabetic orthographies is phonological processing, this is not as clear in Chinese; rather, Chinese children with dyslexia often manifest particular difficulties with rapid automatized naming, morphological awareness, and visuo-orthographic processing. Whether a phonological coding system is used routinely to teach Chinese in a given Chinese is also important in understanding developmental dyslexia in Chinese. Collectively, these findings highlight the fact that, although all writing systems rely on a conversion from phonological to semantic (morphological) to orthographic representations for reading acquisition, the strength of the semantic and orthographic representations are stronger and the phonological representations are weaker in Chinese, relative to other scripts, thus the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental dyslexia in Chinese be multidimensional. Copyright © 2015 Oxford University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of Chinese linguistics
EditorsWilliam S-Y. WANG, Chaofen SUN
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199856343
ISBN (Print)9780199856336, 0199856338
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


McBride-Chang, C., Tong, X., & Mo, J. (2015). Developmental dyslexia in Chinese. In W. S.-Y. Wang & C. Sun (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of Chinese linguistics (pp. 688-696). New York: Oxford University Press.


  • Rapid automatized naming
  • Morphological awareness
  • Copying
  • Phonological processing
  • Dyslexia


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