Psycholinguistic properties of Chinese characters in primary school corpora of Taiwan

Meng Feng Li, Yi Fen Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims at analyzing the properties of the listed vocabularies which are included in three versions of current mandarin textbooks, Nan-Yi, Kang-Syuan and Han-Lin, for students in grade one to grade six. The psycholinguistic characteristics of vocabularies, including types of characters, spatial structure, visual complexity, phonetic regularity, phonetic consistency, semantic transparency, independent and bound components, as well as phonetic and semantic radical families, are carefully analyzed. In general, the elementary level mandarin textbooks validated by the Taiwanese Ministry of Education may display differences between the simplified and traditional characters, when compared to those used in China or Hong Kong. This study established a psycholinguistic property database of Chinese character for mandarin corpora used in Taiwanese elementary schools. This database can be a reference for both the mandarin textbook publishers and the instructors for developing remedial instruction materials. It is also a useful resource for future researchers to select experimental materials. To give examples, we suggested to investigate whether the Chinese character within the word will automatically activate the network of neighborhood words sharing the character, and took a further investigation about whether the neighborhood words will affect the identification of the target Chinese characters, and whether the process of characters within the word has been involved in Chinese word recognition. Furthermore, Some educctional implications of this study are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-662
Number of pages26
JournalBulletin of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun


  • Phonetic consistency
  • Phonetic regularity
  • Semantic transparency
  • Visual complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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