ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2007, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (05): 807-818.

### The Activation of Graphic, Phonological, and Semantic Information in the Recognition of Naxi Pictographs

hang JiJia,He Xiumei,Chen Xi

1. Department of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
• Received:2005-10-17 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2007-09-30 Online:2007-09-30
• Contact: Zhang JiJia

Abstract: Introduction
Two questions arise during the cognition of words: how the meanings of words are accessed and whether the phonology of words can be activated automatically? These questions are hot topics in the areas of cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. Previous studies showed inconsistent results due to different materials and experimental paradigms. Three theories have been proposed based on the studies of alphabetic writing skills. 1. Phonological mediation model that suggests that people captured the meaning of words through the activation of phonology. Phonology plays a mediator role in lexical access. 2. Direct access model that assumes that people derive the meanings of words from graphs, and phonological activation was the additional process. 3. Dual route model that suggested that the route of graph-enabled meaning ran parallel to the route of graph-phonology-enabled meaning in lexical access. However, these theories have long been disputed by many researchers. In the present study, we used Naxi pictographs in order to investigate the graphic, phonological, and semantic activation of words.
Methods
The study included 2 experiments. Experiment 1 adopted the color-word interference paradigm. Fourteen Naxi individuals who were aware of Naxi pictographs participated in the experiment. The experimental materials included 20 Naxi pictographs consisting of 4 color words, namely, red, white, yellow, and green; homographs, homophones, and synonyms of color words; and 4 neutral words. These words shared same familiarity and complication. The subjects were asked to name the color of the words fast and accurately. Experiment 2 used the priming paradigm to determine the effects of graphic, phonological, and semantic information on the naming of color squares in different SOA (100, 200, and 400 ms). The color words were presented first and the color squares later. The subjects were asked to name the color of the squares fast and accurately. Forty-five Naxi individuals who were aware of Naxi pictographs participated in 3 sub-experiments.
Results
The results of Experiment 1 showed that the graphic information was easily activated than phonological and semantic information. The subjects named the color of the characters that were similar in form with the color words faster than the color of the characters that were similar in phonology or meaning with the color words. The results of Experiment 2 showed that the priming effects of the words that were similar in form with the color words appeared when SOA = 100 ms. The priming effects of the words that were similar in meaning with color words appeared when SOA = 200 and 400 ms. The study showed that graphic information of Naxi pictographs is activated first, followed by the semantic information. Further, no evident phonological activation was found. The cognition of Naxi pictographs was consistent with the hypothesis of direct access. This was due to the characteristics of Naxi pictographs.
Conclusions
1. The graphic information of Naxi pictographs was easily activated than phonological and semantic information.
2. In the cognition of Naxi pictographs, the graphic information of Naxi pictographs was activated first, followed by the semantic information. Further, no evident phonological activation was found.
3. The cognition of Naxi pictographs was consistent with the direct access model. The reason for this was related to the characteristics of Naxi pictographs

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