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学术报告:Eye Movements during Chinese reading: Are words or characters the primary unit of information?
日期: 2010/06/08 

报告人:Simon P. Liversedge
    Professor of Experimental Psychology
    School of Psychology,  University of Southampton


时间:6月10日 下午 2:00
地点:东楼101教室

摘要:
I will report data from two eye movement experiments investigating the influence of spacing information during reading of Chinese.  We investigated a number of issues in these experiments, but most important amongst these was whether the word or character is the primary unit of information during reading of Chinese.  To do this, in Experiment 1 we recorded eye movements as native Chinese speakers read sentences with different spacing formats (normal unspaced text, character spaced text, word spaced text and nonword spaced text).  We found that despite the visual unfamiliarity of word spaced text, reading times were just as fast as for normal unspaced text the participants had been reading all their lives.  In the second experiment we explored this spacing effect for four groups of non-native Chinese speakers (American, Korean, Japanese, and Thai) who were learning Chinese as second language. Note that participants’ native languages were different in terms of their basic characteristics; English and Korean are spaced, whereas the other two are unspaced. Japanese is character based whereas the other three are alphabetic (though Korean is comprised of alphabetic blocks that have the appearance of characters). Thus, we also assessed whether any spacing effects were modulated by native language characteristics. Reading times and regression measures all showed least disruption to reading for word spaced text, These effects were uninfluenced by native language (though reading times differed between groups due to Chinese reading experience). We conclude that demarcation of word boundaries through spacing reduces non-native’s uncertainty about the characters that comprise a word, thereby speeding lexical identification, and in turn, reading.  More generally, the results suggest that the word, not the character, is the primary unit of information of information in Chinese reading.

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