The role of semantic transparency in Chinese compound word representation

Mok, L.W., and Chua, F.K. (2004) The role of semantic transparency in Chinese compound word representation. In: Proceedings of the British Psychological Society (12) p. 178. From: The British Psychological Society Annual Conference, 15-17 April 2004, Imperial Colllege, London, UK.

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[Extract] Objectives: This study investigated the role that semantic transparency – the degree of transparency in the semantic relationship between a compound word and its constituents – plays in Chinese compound word representation. Design: Bimorphemic (bicharacter) compounds were classified as either fully opaque, i.e. semantically opaque at both constituents (OO), partially opaque (TO, or OT), or fully transparent (TT).Word frequency (high or low) was manipulated and both character positions were tested. Inferences about lexical organisation were made within a modified Reicher-Wheeler paradigm, in which the word-superiority effect (word–non-word) has been observed. Both words and reversed compounds were compared to nonwords in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Methods: Participants were university students (aged 18 to 34 years) and proficient in Chinese. Stimuli were Chinese compounds, their reverse and matching nonwords. Each stimulus was tachistoscopically presented and the task was partial report (of the character at the designated position). Analysis: Percentage correct was calculated and difference scores (word/reversed compound– non-word) were cast as a three-way ANOVA. In Experiment 1, the word-superiority effect obtained, regardless of semantic transparency, word frequency and character position, especially for low-frequency words with at least one opaque constituent. In Experiment 2, there was an advantage to the first constituent of reversed compounds, but only for high-frequency words with two opaque constituents. Conclusions: These results suggested that the degree of unitisation in lexical representation goes in the decreasing order of fully opaque compounds, partially opaque compounds and then fully transparent compounds. They were explained using a graded approach to morphological representation within a modified interactive-activation framework.

Item ID: 24894
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
ISSN: 1350-472X
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2013 04:39
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance @ 60%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170204 Linguistic Processes (incl Speech Production and Comprehension) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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