Semantic and plausibility effects on preview benefit during eye fixations in Chinese reading

Jinmian YANG, Suiping WANG, Xiuhong TONG, Keith RAYNER

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The boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) was used to examine whether high level information affects preview benefit during Chinese reading. In two experiments, readers read sentences with a 1-character target word while their eye movements were monitored. In Experiment 1, the semantic relatedness between the target word and the preview word was manipulated so that there were semantically related and unrelated preview words, both of which were not plausible in the sentence context. No significant differences between these two preview conditions were found, indicating no effect of semantic preview. In Experiment 2, we further examined semantic preview effects with plausible preview words. There were four types of previews: identical, related & plausible, unrelated & plausible, and unrelated & implausible. The results revealed a significant effect of plausibility as single fixation and gaze duration on the target region were shorter in the two plausible conditions than in the implausible condition. Moreover, there was some evidence for a semantic preview benefit as single fixation duration on the target region was shorter in the related & plausible condition than the unrelated & plausible condition. Implications of these results for processing of high level information during Chinese reading are discussed. Copyright © 2010 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1052
JournalReading and Writing
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010



Yang, J., Wang, S., Tong, X., & Rayner, K. (2012). Semantic and plausibility effects on preview benefit during eye fixations in Chinese reading. Reading and Writing, 25, 1031-1052. doi: 10.1007/s11145-010-9281-8


  • Eye-movements
  • Reading Chinese
  • Preview benefit
  • Semantic and plausibility effects