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Title:Word perception and eye movements in Chinese reading
Author(s):Yang, Hsien-Ming
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McConkie, George W.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Reading
Abstract:The question addressed in the study is concerned with how properties of Chinese characters and words affect word perception and eye movement control during reading. In Experiment I, subjects were presented with one- or two-character words briefly at different peripheral positions, and were required to recognize the words. The results showed that the probability of correct recognition of a word decreases as a function of visual eccentricity, and varies greatly with character complexity, much lower for complex words than for non-complex words.
Experiment II addressed the effect of the optimal viewing position (OVP) on recognition of Chinese. Subjects fixated a target, then two- or three-character words were presented such that the fixation was at one of several predetermined locations with the task of recognizing the words. The results showed that response times are shortest if the initial fixation is at the center of words, that is, on the space between the first and second character of two-character words or on the second character of three-character words.
Experiment III was conducted to investigate how character complexity and the optimal viewing position of the eyes in a word affect eye movements in normal reading of Chinese. Subjects were required to read one sentence a time which contained a critical two-character word for the observation of the fixation pattern of the eyes. The results showed: (a) there is an optimal viewing position, at the left half of the second character, for the identification of two-character words in normal reading; (b) there is no preferred viewing position (PVP) for where the eyes are sent into a new word, with the eyes fixating equally at different positions in the words; (c) the eyes tend to generate a shorter saccade length when fixating complex words than when fixating non-complex words; (d) the eyes fixate on complex characters more than on non-complex characters, and (e) fixations on complex characters are longer than those on less complex characters. The results suggest that eye movement control in Chinese reading is greatly affected by character complexity.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Yang, Hsien-Ming
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512606
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512606

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