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www.kanjidatabase.com: a new interactive online database for psychological and linguistic research on Japanese kanji and their compound words

Abstract

Most experimental research making use of the Japanese language has involved the 1945 officially standardized kanji (Japanese logographic characters) in the Jōyō kanji list (originally announced by the Japanese government in 1981). However, this list was extensively modified in 2010: five kanji were removed and 196 kanji were added; the latest revision of the list now has a total of 2136 kanji. Using an up-to-date corpus consisting of 11 years’ worth of articles printed in the Mainichi Newspaper (2000–2010), we have constructed two novel databases that can be used in psychological research using the Japanese language: (1) a database containing a wide variety of properties on the latest 2136 Jōyō kanji, and (2) a novel database containing 27,950 two-kanji compound words (or jukugo). Based on these two databases, we have created an interactive website (www.kanjidatabase.com) to retrieve and store linguistic information to be used in psychological and linguistic experiments. The present paper reports the most important characteristics for the new databases, as well as their value for experimental psychological and linguistic research.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For details, see https://mecab.sourceforge.net.

  2. 2.

    See http://www.ninjal.ac.jp/english/products/bccwj/ for an English explanation.

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Acknowledgments

The present work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research, JSPS Grant number 25580112 (principal researcher: Katsuo Tamaoka), by the Grant-in-Aid for Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), JSPS Grant Number 15K02656 (principal researcher: Kazuko Komori), and a Grand-In-Aid for JSPS postdoctoral fellows (12F02315) and a JSPS Research Activity Start-Up Grant (15H06687) to Rinus G. Verdonschot.

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Correspondence to Rinus G. Verdonschot.

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Tamaoka, K., Makioka, S., Sanders, S. et al. www.kanjidatabase.com: a new interactive online database for psychological and linguistic research on Japanese kanji and their compound words. Psychological Research 81, 696–708 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-016-0764-3

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Keywords

  • Lexical Item
  • Linguistic Research
  • Compound Word
  • Proper Noun
  • Japanese Language