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Title:The Development of Taiwanese Children's Ability to Infer Orthographic Information From Semantic and Phonological Information
Author(s):Chen, Shiou-Yuan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kevin F. Miller
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:This study explored whether Taiwanese children adopt metalinguistic principles to help their reading and writing development in Chinese, a non-alphabetic language. The relationship between the acquisition of phoneme-grapheme correspondence and reading ability has been well-established for alphabetic orthographies. In Chinese, characters are the basic orthographic units and generally correspond to syllables and morphemes. The orthographic relation between characters in different compound words is highly influenced by their semantic and phonological properties. For example, the character corresponding to chicken is used to compose compound words corresponding to hen and rooster. I hypothesized that Taiwanese children, who are exposed to Chinese characters since early childhood, will adopt different metalinguistic principles developmentally to predict the written forms of unlearned compound words. Experiments showed that when asked to predict the orthographic relation between two characters within two orally-presented compound words, the majority of Taiwanese kindergartners judged on the basis of phonological information. On the other hand, the majority of Taiwanese second graders used both semantic and phonological information to judge the orthographic relation between two characters within two compound words. The use of both semantic and phonological information by Taiwanese second graders can facilitate children's writing development and avoid the burden of learning the written forms of each compound word through formal instruction. In summary, children develop different metalinguistic ability according to the properties of different languages and writing systems. Phonological awareness is important for reading development in alphabetic languages, and strategies that consider both phonological and semantic information are important for reading development in Chinese.
Issue Date:2000
Description:110 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9989959
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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