Reading and Writing

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 1085–1106 | Cite as

Is the consonant primacy script-universal or script-specific? Evidence from non-Roman script Korean Hangul

  • Hye K. PaeEmail author
  • Sungbong Bae
  • Kwangoh Yi


Given the well-documented consonant primacy established in Roman script, this study examined the role of consonants and vowels in lexical decision of Korean Hangul among skilled Korean readers in order to identify whether the salient role of consonants over vowels would be script-universal or script-specific. Three experiments were carried out to investigate how consonant primes facilitated word recognition using related and unrelated consonant primes (e.g., ㅇㄴㅅㅁ 인삼 vs. ㅈㅎㅂㄱ 인삼, respectively; Experiment 1), consonant and vowel primes in linearity (e.g.,ㅅㄴㅂㄹ – 손발 vs. ㅜㅗ – 운동, respectively; Experiment 2), and consonant and vowel primes in syllabic blocks (e.g., Open image in new window – 침술, Open image in new window – 불법, respectively; Experiment 3). Results showed that significant consonant priming effects were not found, in comparison to those of vowels, in either linear or block formats. Taken together, the findings suggest that the consonant primacy effect may not apply to non-Roman script Hangul recognition and may be script-specific.


Lexical decision task Korean Hangul Consonants Vowels Words 



This work was supported by the 2011 Yeungnam University research grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Yeungnam UniversityGyeongsanSouth Korea

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