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Title:Transfer of the knowledge of Chinese characters to Japanese
Author(s):Hatasa, Yukiko Abe
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Makino, S.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Unlike many European languages, Japanese orthographic system is complex, consisting of three types of scripts used to serve different functions in a text. In particular, a great deal of efforts and time are spent on teaching kanji (Chinese characters) to both native and non-native speakers of Japanese. For instance, average Japanese children spend more than ten years learning kanji to achieve functional literacy (Ishii, 1967). Since kanji are used for content words in Japanese, many researchers and educators believe that knowing more kanji entails better comprehension, and that the native speakers of Chinese should be able to read Japanese better than those whose native language do not have Chinese characters (Ezoe, 1985; Takebe, 1988).
This dissertation examined the validity of such belief and investigated the way in which knowledge of Chinese characters is transferred to processing Japanese. A series of tests of kanji, grammar, and reading in Japanese which did or did not contain kanji were given to native speakers of Chinese and those of English. The results showed that Chinese speakers transferred their knowledge of kanji significantly in the tests of kanji and reading but not in the tests of grammar. Also, the influence of the native language was not a very strong factor in the reading tests. Furthermore, the results suggested that the contribution of the knowledge of kanji might vary depending on proficiency.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Hatasa, Yukiko Abe
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236480
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236480

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