Most Chinese characters comprise radicals that are embedded in a specific structure (e.g., left–right structure like 相, or top–bottom structure like 杏). We investigated the representations of word-form units (i.e., radicals) in planning Chinese handwritten production. Adopting the picture-word interference paradigm (Experiment 1, N = 29), we manipulated picture names and their corresponding distractors to share one radical. Radicals embedded in the same character structure as the target significantly shortened the participants’ writing latency, no matter whether the radicals appeared at the same or a different position in the distractor. This finding suggests that radicals appearing at different positions in characters with the same structure may share the same representations in planning Chinese written word production. On the other hand, when the shared radical appeared in the distractor that possessed a different structure than the target, a non-significant facilitation trend was observed. Experiment 2 adopted the form-preparation paradigm and obtained a similar non-significant trend of facilitation, in a larger sample (N = 53). Radicals embedded in different character structures might be represented as distinct units among (a proportion of) Chinese writers, suggesting the important role of character structure in planning Chinese handwritten production. The potential influence of language-specific features on the representations of word-form units should be taken into account when building word production models. Practical implications for literacy instruction are also discussed. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
CitationWang, J., Cheng, L., Maurer, U., & Chen, H.-C. (2023). Role of radical position and character configuration in Chinese handwritten production. Reading and Writing, 36, 1609-1630. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-022-10348-5
- Word production
- Planning units