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Cognitive Neuroscience Studies of the Chinese Language

Henry S.R. Kao (高尚仁) ,Che-Kan Leong ,Ding-Guo Gao

Publication Year: 2002

This volume brings together the related disciplines of neuroscience, cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics to explain some of the complex issues in understanding the processing of the Chinese language.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Cognitive Neuroscience Studies of the Chinese Language

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pp. ix-x

Chinese is one of the oldest and the most widely used languages in the world. The unique properties of the Chinese writing system, its phonology, morphology and semantics are critical to an understanding of the universal as well as culturally specific aspects of language processing. Research into Chinese has fundamental significance for developing general theories of ...

List of Contributors

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pp. xi-xiv

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1. 'Cognitive Conjunction' Analysis of Processing Chinese

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pp. 1-32

In as much as any one person can be so credited, Nobel laureate Herbert Simon is usually regarded as the founder of cognitive science. He explained the field as 'the study of intelligence and its computational processes in humans (and animals), in computers, and in the abstract' (Simon & Kaplan, 1989, p. 2). Intelligence systems in this context are identified with ...

Part 1. Neurocognitive Architecture of Language

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2. How the Mind Can Meet the Brain in Reading: A Comparative Writing Systems Approach

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pp. 35-60

Reading is at once both simple and rich — simple enough for cognitive research to have gained an increasingly clear picture of how it works; rich enough to yield important lingering questions to be addressed by the convergence of cognitive and neurocognitive methods. One particular characteristic of reading can illustrate this simplicity and richness: it begins ...

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3. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Promising Tool for Defining the Organization of Chinese Language in the Brain

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pp. 61-78

A fundamental problem in language studies is to determine whether the written form of a language influences the way in which information is encoded in the brain. Study of the Chinese language offers a potentially powerful strategy for addressing this question. Chinese is unique relative to English and other alphabetic languages because, with the introduction ...

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4. Emergent Semantic Structure and Language Acquisition: A Dynamic Perspective

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pp. 79-98

The representation of language has been traditionally considered as a construction out of basic structural building blocks in the form of symbols and rules. This approach tends to look at linguistic representations statically. A contrasting approach, in the spirit of recent developments in connectionist networks and statistical learning, attempts to capture ...

Part 2. Interfacing Orthographic, Phonological and Semantic Processing

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5. Picture-Word Interference Effects on Naming in Chinese

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pp. 101-128

The presence of a semantic relationship between the name of a target picture and a distractor word (e.g., CAT-dog) hampers picture naming in a picture-word interference task, whereas a graphemic-phonological relationship between a distractor word and the name of a target picture (e.g., CAT-cap) facilitates word naming. One issue to emerge from this ...

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6. Speed of Getting at the Phonology and Meaning of Chinese Words

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pp. 129-142

In psycholinguistic studies of the Chinese language we have witnessed two myths. An earlier one was that processing of the ideographic symbols is lateralized in the right hemisphere. Its empirical support came from: (a) the finding of greater Stroop effect for Chinese, with Biederman and Tsao (1979) suggesting that both the processing of colours and Chinese colour...

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7. Reading Efficiency and Reading Strategies

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pp. 143-156

Current word recognition models consider that single word reading may involve the activation of the orthographic, phonological and semantic codes of written words in parallel (Seidenberg & McClelland, 1989). However, even if all information sources of written words are activated and become available, readers may not necessarily use them all at the same ...

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8. Early Phonological Activation in Reading Kanji: An Eye-Tracking Study

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pp. 157-172

Many researchers agree that regardless of the script type, phonology plays a crucial role in holding information in working memory during reading (e.g., Dewey, 1996; Hayes, 1988; Kleiman, 1975; Treiman, Baron & Luk, 1981; Tzeng & Hung, 1980; Tzeng, Hung & Wang, 1977; Zhang & Perfetti, 1993). However, the timing of phonological activation (i.e., ...

Part 3. Structural Relationship of Components of Chinese Characters

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9. Visual-Spatial Properties and Orthographic Processing of Chinese Characters

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pp. 175-194

The term orthography is used by some authors for spelling patterns and for correct or standard spelling rules of scripts (Richards, Piatt, &c Weber, 1985). From writing system to writing system, orthographic information differs. Mason (1975) identified orthographic information as a form of redundancy that can be used to augment visual feature information. She...

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10. Psycho-Geometric Analysis of Commonly Used Chinese Characters

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pp. 195-206

Although there are almost one hundred thousand Chinese characters, which have been used across different historical periods (see Wan & Hsia, 1957; Zhou, 1999), there are only around 5,000 characters, which are in active usage in modern Chinese language (e.g., Ann, 1986; Suen, 1986; Wang & Chang, 1986). According to Ann, 3,500 most frequently used ...

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11. Frequency and Position Effects of Component Combination in Chinese Character Recognition

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pp. 207-224

The morphological constituent of Chinese character has been named as 'radical' or 'component'. A radical is the structural unit of character used for sorting or retrieving related characters, as used in dictionaries (e.g., TK, ? , ,m ); whereas a component is the structural constituents of a character (e.g., /% !],/*, x). Therefore, all radicals are included in a ...

Part 4. Learning Chinese Characters and Words

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12. Segmental Analysis and Reading in Chinese

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pp. 227-246

In learning to read, children need to make contact from their developed ability of listening and speaking with what the graphic symbols in different writing systems or orthographies represent. Emergent readers need to be aware of, or sensitive to, the mapping between speech sounds and the basic graphic units in order to access print. While there are certain ...

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13. Biscriptal Reading in Chinese

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pp. 247-262

The Chinese language offers unusual opportunities for exploring the psycholinguistic effects in reading two closely related linguistic systems because the same writing script can be read in different dialectal pronunciations. At the same time, two scripts can be read with a single pronunciation. Earlier work (Lam, Perfetti & Bell, 1991) has already ...

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14. Differences in Chinese Character Identification Between Skilled and Less Skilled Young Readers

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pp. 263-284

Achievement differences in reading English are related to the accurate and rapid identification of words (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998; Daneman, 1991). Research shows that the phonological process is central to identify a word and plays a significant role in accounting the differences between good and poor readers (Guthrie & Tyler, 1976; Jorm & Share, 1983; ...

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15. The Developing Lexicon: The Case of Hong Kong Secondary Students

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pp. 285-306

The present study is a part of an ongoing Chinese vocabulary research, which seeks to investigate the lexical development of secondary and tertiary students in four Asian cities (Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Singapore) and to contribute to the setting of literacy benchmarks for Chinese language education in Hong Kong. ...

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16. Chinese Lexical Knowledge Development: Strategies for Decoding Unfamiliar Words

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pp. 307-326

This study is part of an international study on the Chinese lexical development of secondary and tertiary students in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Singapore (T'sou, Kwan & Liu, 1997). The major aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between learners' lexical development and strategies used in decoding unfamiliar Chinese lexical ...


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pp. 327-329

E-ISBN-13: 9789882200777
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622095687

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2002