Syllable articulation influences foveal and parafoveal processing of words during the silent reading of Chinese sentences

Ming Yan, Yingyi Luo, Albrecht W. Inhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study examined effects of syllable articulation on eye movements during the silent reading of Chinese sentences, which contained two types of two-character target words whose second characters were subject to dialect-specific variation. In one condition the second syllable was articulated with a neutral tone for northern-dialect Chinese speakers and with a full tone for southern-dialect Chinese speakers (neutral-tone target words) and in the other condition the second syllable was articulated with a full tone irrespective of readers' dialect type (full-tone target words). Native speakers of northern and southern Chinese dialects were recruited in Experiment 1 to examine the effect of dialect-specific articulation on silent reading. Recordings of their eye movements revealed shorter viewing durations for neutral- than for full-tone target words only for speakers of northern but not for southern dialects, indicating that dialect-specific articulation of syllabic tone influenced visual word recognition. Experiment 2 replicated the syllabic tone effect for speakers of northern dialects, and the use of gaze-contingent display changes further revealed that these readers processed an upcoming parafoveal word less effectively when a neutral- than when a full-tone target was fixated. Shorter viewing duration for neutral-tone words thus cannot be attributed to their easier lexical processing; instead, tonal effects appear to reflect Chinese readers' simulated articulation of to-be-recognized words during silent reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Articulation duration
  • Chinese
  • Neutral tone
  • Sentence reading
  • Syllabic tone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this