In the phonological system of Chinese, a unique Chinese syllable usually comprises three components: onset, rime, and tone. The present study, with 30 participants, examined how native Chinese listeners process these subsyllabic components of Chinese by a syllable comparison task. Analysis showed that the cognitive processing of these subsyllabic components was different after the encoding process of the Chinese syllable. These results are discussed in light of the perception of Chinese language. Copyright © 2007 SAGE.