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

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
JournalReading and Writing
Early online date07 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 07 Oct 2020

Citation

Pan, J., Zhang, C., Huang, X., & Yan, M. (2020). Sandhi-tone words prolong fixation duration during silent sentence reading in Chinese. Reading and Writing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11145-020-10093-7

Keywords

  • Eye movement
  • Tone sandhi
  • Sentence reading
  • Chinese

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