Yi-Chuan Chen
Department of Psychology National Taiwan University
Su-Ling Yeh
Department of Psychology National Taiwan University

Compared to English that are largely used as stimulus materials in developing word recognition models, Chinese characters provide the best contrast to test the adequacy of general models of word recognition. In this article, critical reviews on the role of radicals in Chinese character recognition and several important models are provided. The following issues are discussed: whether characters or radicals are the basic recognition units, what information (i.e., position or function) is carried by radicals during character recognition, and the role of phonetic radical in the pronunciation of character. In the end, a single-route model and a dual-route model as to whether radical representation is necessary for models of Chinese character recognition are proposed to serve as a theoretical framework for the evidence provided so far.

Keywords: semantic, phonetic, compound, component position, Chinese character recognition model

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