ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 381-399.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00381

• Editor-In-Chief Invited •     Next Articles

Semantic Radicals’ Research in Twenty Years: Theoretical Exploration, Experimental Evidence and Processing Model

ZHANG Jijia;WANG Juan;CHEN Xinkui   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China) (2 School of Education Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China) (3 Politics and Public Managerial College, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou 510420, China)
  • Received:2013-11-25 Online:2014-03-15 Published:2014-03-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Jijia


Semantic radicals are components which are related with Chinese characters in view of meaning. Semantic radicals’ research is the unique field of Chinese characters study. There has been a long history in semantic radicals’ research from the point view of linguistics. Linguists have investigated the properties of semantic radicals’ expressing meaning, the rate of semantic radicals’ expressing meaning and the frequency of semantic radicals’ constructing Chinese character from the aspects of quality and the statistics mainly. Cognitive psychologists have mostly explored the influences of semantic radicals to word recognition, semantic extraction, grammar classification and perceptual processing from the view of sub-lexical processing of Chinese characters, also discussed subjective familiarity, family size and consistency of semantic radicals. They found semantic radicals is not only the “chuck” of Chinese character’s structure, the “chuck” of Chinese character’s recognition, but also the “chuck” of semantics and the “chuck” of Chinese character’s grammar.Based on the previous studies, researchers have proposed processing models of semantic radicals impacting Chinese characters cognition, these models conform to the results of semantic research to some extent and deliver new blood into the Chinese characters cognition theory, and also lay a solid foundation for following researches.

Key words: semantic radical, theoretical discussion, experimental evidence, processing model