Orthographic Influence in Processing Katakana and Kanji Nouns in Japanese

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This study investigates how katakana and kanji nouns embedded in Japanese sentences are processed among native Japanese speakers by employing self-paced reading tasks. Darnell et al. (1994) found in their experiments that the orthographic type used for nouns did not affect reading times (RTs) when a noun appeared without its lexical associates in a sentence. This study extends their study to include another script, katakana, which was not tested in their study. Contrary to their findings, our experimental results revealed that RTs were faster when the target nouns were written in the more familiar script, such as katakana dominant words in katakana. Moreover, it was observed that script types did not change the RTs significantly with or without lexical associates. However, we still need a further investigation that directly compares katakana and hiragana before we can conclude that nouns in a familiar script in a sentence are always read faster.



Japanese scripts, kanji, katakana, orthography, self-paced reading experiments


Wakita, Saori. "Orthographic Influence in Processing Katakana and Kanji Nouns in Japanese." Buckeye East Asian Linguistics, vol. 7 (August 2023), p. 122-131.