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Title:Implicit graphemic cues in Thai reading
Author(s):Hajek, Jonathan
Advisor(s):Christianson, Kiel; Shih, Chilin
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Visual salience
Self-paced reading
Parafoveal preview
Word segmentation
Eye movement
Abstract:Languages that do not use space or other punctuation to demarcate word boundaries typically show improvements in early reading time measures when spaces are inserted. However, it seems that Thai may not follow this same trend (Winskel, Radach, & Luksaneeyanawin, 2009). One potential explanation is that Thai orthography may provide other cues that guide readers in word segmentation, even in the absence of explicit word boundary punctuation. A self-paced reading experiment investigates the role that visual salience of graphemes that appear above or below the main line of text plays in word segmentation and reading. Visual salience was operationally defined by the physical size of the grapheme, manipulated by font size specification. The necessity for the reader to segment the words themselves was manipulated by changing the windowing for a key target region in each sentence, such that normal windowing (i.e., normal segmentation) meant that all words were presented one at a time in the self-paced reading paradigm. In abnormally-segmented conditions, the self-paced window boundaries were shifted to include the target word as well as part of the neighboring words. Mis-segmentation and grapheme size yielded significant main effects, and the interaction between the two factors was significant (p=0.03298), indicating when segmentation was left up to the reader, the shrunken graphemes caused a greater slow-down than when segmentation was done properly for them by the self-paced windowing paradigm. Thus, Thai readers parse text more effectively when graphemes in the special vertical position are larger, showing that graphemes in vertical position act as cues for Thais in reading unspaced text.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jonathan Scott Hajek
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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