Sandhi-tone words prolong fixation duration during silent sentence reading in Chinese

Jinger PAN, Caicai ZHANG, Xunan HUANG, Ming YAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study examined whether or not lexical access is influenced by detailed phonological features during the silent reading of Chinese sentences. We used two types of two-character target words (Mandarin sandhi-tone and base-tone). The first characters of the words in the sandhi-tone condition had a tonal alternation, but no tonal alternation was involved in the base-tone condition. Recordings of eye movements revealed that native Mandarin Chinese readers viewed the base-tone target words more briefly than the sandhi-tone target words when they were infrequent. Such articulation-specific effects on visual word processing, however, diminished for frequent words. We suggest that a conflict in tonal representation at a character/morpheme level and at a word level induces prolongation in fixation duration on infrequent sandhi-tone words, and conclude that these tonal effects appear to reflect articulation simulation of words during the silent reading of Chinese sentences. Copyright © 2020 Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841–857
JournalReading and Writing
Volume34
Issue number4
Early online date07 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Citation

Pan, J., Zhang, C., Huang, X., & Yan, M. (2021). Sandhi-tone words prolong fixation duration during silent sentence reading in Chinese. Reading and Writing, 34(4), 841–857. doi: 10.1007/s11145-020-10093-7

Keywords

  • Eye movement
  • Tone sandhi
  • Sentence reading
  • Chinese

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