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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, Vol. 51 Issue (10) : 1091-1101     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01091
Reports of Empirical Studies |
Effects of task type, family size, and grammatical consistency on the activation of grammatical information of semantic radicals
ZHANG Yuzhi1,ZHANG Jijia2()
1 School of Science and Technology Education, Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University, Guangzhou 510665, China
2 Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
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Abstract  

In the study of phonetic characters, whether the lexical grammatical information can be independently activated through speech comprehension or production has been a controversial topic. In recent years, increasing evidence has shown that grammar exists independently from semantics and phonetics.

Chinese characters are the only ideograms in the world. Chinese do not emphasize the grammatical categories of words, like phonetic characters, because Chinese words can represent a variety of word classes without changing the pronunciation and orthography. The complicated grammatical features of Chinese words make them difficult to be explored, but they still arouse researchers’ interest. Researchers have examined the grammatical activation of Chinese from the perspectives of sentence context, idioms, phrases, and Chinese words. Previous studies have also examined the grammatical features of Chinese words at or beyond the level of words. Accordingly, the present research extended the previous studies through the sub-lexical pathway.

Semantic radicals are the ideographic components and concentrated embodiment of Chinese characters. Relevant statistics and studies have shown that semantic radicals also represent grammar. On the basis of these studies, the present work used the semantic radical priming paradigm to investigate the grammatical activation and related influencing factors of Chinese words from the sub-lexical processing level.

Experiment 1 includes two small experiments, which examined whether the activation of the semantic radical’s grammatical information under the radical priming paradigm was specific to the task. Experiments 1a and 1b adopted a 2 (semantic radical priming/control priming) × 2 (G+ Chinese characters/G- Chinese characters) two-factor within-subject design. Experiment 1a used lexical decision as the reaction task, whereas Experiment 1b replaced it with grammatical classification. The comparison of results indicate that under the grammatical classification task, the grammatical information of semantic radicals was easier to activate. The discovery also set the foundation for the selection of the reaction tasks for Experiment 2.

Experiment 2 further investigated the influence of family size and grammatical consistency on the activation of the semantic radical’s grammatical information. Experiment 2a adopted a 2 (large family size/small family size) × 2 (G+ Chinese characters/G- Chinese characters) two-factor within-subject design to examine the influence of family size on the syntax activation of semantic radicals. The results of this experiment discovered the advantages of a big family. Experiment 2b replaced the family size factor with grammatical consistency, and the results also revealed the advantages of high grammatical consistency.

The overall results show that grammatical information can be activated at the sub-lexical level of Chinese words and the semantic radical marks the grammatical information. However, the activation of the semantic radical’s grammatical information is specific to the task. When the task is directly targeted to the grammar of the characters, the grammatical information can be easily activated. Family size and grammatical consistency are important factors that affect the activation of the semantic radical’s grammatical information. The results further manifest the promotion effect of a large family size and high grammatical consistency.

Keywords semantic radical priming      grammatical information activation      task nature      family size      grammatical consistency     
ZTFLH:  B842  
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Corresponding Authors: Jijia ZHANG     E-mail: Zhangjj1955@163.com
Issue Date: 19 August 2019
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Cite this article:   
ZHANG Yuzhi,ZHANG Jijia. Effects of task type, family size, and grammatical consistency on the activation of grammatical information of semantic radicals[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2019, 51(10): 1091-1101.
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01091     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2019/V51/I10/1091
启动义符 义符熟悉性 义符的语法倾向 汉字与义符的
语法一致性
字频(百万分之一) 笔画数 汉字语义透明度
如“氵” 4.89 动词 G+, 如“流” 161.23 9.19 5.29
G-, 如“汁” 173.33 9.75 5.21
  
启动义符 义符的语法倾向 目标汉字的词类
G+汉字 G-汉字
32个义符 动词倾向义符16个 16个动词 16个名词
名词倾向义符16个 16个名词 16个动词
  
  
启动类型 G+汉字 G-汉字
平均错误率 平均反应时 平均错误率 平均反应时
义符启动 3.76 (2.65) 554 (48) 2.78 (2.72) 553 (45)
控制启动 2.78 (2.72) 565 (58) 2.43 (2.46) 560 (61)
  
启动类型 G+汉字 G-汉字
平均错误率 平均反应时 平均错误率 平均反应时
义符启动 7.63 (5.01) 645 (81) 12.06 (5.92) 662 (77)
控制启动 7.81 (4.98) 656 (84) 12.00 (6.50) 660 (81)
  
义符家族
大小
义符
熟悉性
汉字与义符的语法一致性 字频
(百万分之一)
笔画数 语义
透明度
大家族义符 4.96 G+ 160.59 9.23 4.96
G- 158.62 10.45 4.86
小家族义符 4.71 G+ 98.01 10.45 5.00
G- 128.48 10.55 4.79
  
义符类型 G+汉字 G-汉字
平均错误率 平均反应时 平均错误率 平均反应时
大家族义符 9.53 (8.06) 733 (75) 17.05 (7.93) 751 (81)
小家族义符 12.85 (8.23) 735 (77) 14.07 (8.23) 745 (87)
  
义符词类
一致程度
义符
熟悉性
汉字与义符的语法一致性 字频(百万
分之一)
笔画数 语义
透明度
5.00 G+ 244.15 8.42 5.41
G- 325.70 9.85 5.11
4.84 G+ 201.00 9.08 5.34
G- 161.75 9.31 4.96
  
义符类型 G+汉字 G-汉字
平均
错误率
平均
反应时
平均
错误率
平均
反应时
高词类一致性义符 5.51 (4.45) 694 (82) 29.10 (11.65) 773 (89)
低词类一致性义符 13.85 (6.97) 730 (88) 17.88 (8.48) 745 (85)
  
  
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