The nature of the relations among morphological awareness, vocabulary and word reading in Chinese children remains relatively unclear. The present study aimed to distinguish between sublexical morphological awareness, referring to the ability to use the meaning cues of semantic radicals embedded in a compound character, and lexical level morphological awareness, defined as the ability to understand and manipulate single characters (i.e., morphemes) comprising Chinese compound words, on word reading. We also examined the role of vocabulary knowledge on the relation between morphological awareness and word reading at both the sublexical and lexical levels. A group of 172 Chinese second graders were administered measures of sublexical and lexical level morphological awareness, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, nonverbal ability, and word reading. Both sublexical and lexical levels of morphological awareness were moderately correlated with word reading. Vocabulary knowledge appeared to partially mediate the effect of sublexical morphological awareness on word reading, but it fully mediated the effect of lexical level morphological awareness on word reading. These results suggest that sublexical and lexical level morphological awareness play distinct roles in Chinese word reading; vocabulary knowledge is an important factor influencing the relation between morphological awareness and word reading in Chinese. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
CitationTong, X., Tong, X., & McBride, C. (2017). Unpacking the relation between morphological awareness and Chinese word reading: Levels of morphological awareness and vocabulary. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 48, 167-178. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.07.003
- Sublexical and lexical morphological awareness
- Word reading