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Orthographic neighborhood size effect in Chinese character naming: Orthographic and phonological activations

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Citation

Li, Q., Bi, H.-Y., Wei, T.-Q., & Chen, B.-G. (2011). Orthographic neighborhood size effect in Chinese character naming: Orthographic and phonological activations. Acta Psychologica, 136(1), 35-41. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.09.012.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-BCF8-4
Abstract
The present study examined the effects of orthographic neighborhood (N) size on the cognitive processes underlying Chinese character reading. Previous research has shown increasing N size facilitates word naming and recognition performance in alphabetic languages. Experiment 1 revealed that a large N size was associated with a general inhibition of processes underlying character reading, in contrast to previous findings with alphabetic languages. This inhibitory effect was influenced by regularity and consistency. Experiment 2 sought to assess the effects of higher-frequency neighbors on character naming performance. The results revealed that higher-frequency neighbors with different pronunciation to the target interfered with the phonological retrieval of targets. We propose that this type of interference may have caused the N size effect observed in Experiment 1. The results of Experiment 3 revealed that a large N size facilitated target naming in the absence of higher-frequency neighbors. The current results shed light on the processes underlying character naming, and we propose possible cognitive mechanisms of the N size effect on Chinese character naming.