ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (1): 47-59.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00047

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Feedback Consistent Effect: Evidence from Chinese Homophones with High-frequency

CHEN Xuqian;ZHANG Jijia;LI Yunheng   

  1. (Center for Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
  • Received:2011-11-17 Published:2013-01-25 Online:2013-01-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Jijia

Abstract: In the last few decades, three different models, including phonological mediation model, direct access model, and dual-rout cascaded model, were trying to explain how visual words are processed. As we all know, one of the most important differences among them is whether rime plays an important role in orthography. Till 1994, Van Orden and Goldinger suggested a more complicated relationship between spelling and phonology in processing English words, and a resonance model was proposed. More and more researchers have used this resonance model to explain not only visual words processing, but also auditory words processing. However, it has not been really convinced in all recent studies, and evidence from ideographs, such as Chinese, was still missing. Chinese is a very special language whose pronunciations and orthographies are not one-to-one correspondence. Most of the pronunciations have more than two writing forms (homophones), while two similar forms are pronounced totally differently sometimes. Relationships between pronunciations and orthography in Chinese characters might be even more complicated than those in English. Whether would the resonance model be also fit for Chinese? To answer this question, two lexical decision experiments were employed to investigate how rime affects the activation of orthography in Chinese. In Experiment 1, a cross model lexical decision task was used, and results showed longer response latency with words having more than two orthography candidates (homophones). However, no significant differences were found between homophones with dominant spelling and those with subdominant spelling. It was not consistent with the results reported by Ziegler, Ferrand and Montant (2004). In Ziegler et al.’s research (2004), facilitation in processing words with dominant spelling in English was found. The probably reason for the missing of spelling probability effect in the recent research is that dominant and subdominant spelling components of homophone words were activated by auditory stimuli in different levels. That is, orthographies of words with dominant components (DC words) were activated by auditory stimuli and conflicts occurred among the candidates; whereas orthographies of words with subdominant components (SDC words) were not activated in the recent priming condition. Therefore, if each visual target were primed by a component, either appropriate or inappropriate one, result might be different: (1) advantages of DC words remain still when they were primed by dominant components; (2) disadvantages of SDC words occur when they were primed by subdominant components. Thus, in Experiment 2, the cross model lexical decision task with a 43ms priming component displayed before visual target words were engaged, and results were consistent with the hypotheses. In summary, resonance model and the spelling probability effect are also appropriate to explain the relationship between rime and orthography in processing Chinese characters.

Key words: Feedback, Orthography, dominant spelling, subdominant spelling