Reading and Writing

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 147–173 | Cite as

Exploring the role of logographemes in Chinese handwritten word production

  • Markus F. Damian
  • Qingqing QuEmail author


Recent research has demonstrated that abstract orthographic representations such as morphemes, syllables, and graphemes, influence handwritten production in languages with alphabetic scripts. The orthographic representations involved in the written production of non-alphabetic languages such as Chinese are less well understood. Chinese words consist of one or more characters which typically contain embedded radicals, with radicals themselves composed of strokes. A logographemic representational level, in between radical and strokes, has also been postulated. Here we report four experiments using a form preparation task (“implicit priming”) to test for the presence of radical and logographemic priming effects in writers of simplified Chinese characters. We found strong evidence for radical-based effects, but only weak evidence for logographemic priming effects, which contrasts with recent positive logographemic priming effects reported by Chen and Cherng (2013) for writers of traditional characters. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed in terms of potential differences between simplified and traditional scripts, as well as other procedural differences.


Handwriting Orthographic production Chinese Logographemes 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), No. 31400967, and the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in joint project Crossmodal Learning, DFG TRR-169/NSFC No. 61621136008 to the corresponding author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of PsychologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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