Context Effects in Lexical Ambiguity Processing in Chinese: A Meta-Analysis

Jia Guo, Hua Shu, Ping Li

Research output: Other outputs


Context effects in lexical ambiguity processing have been extensively examined in various languages including Chinese. A meta-analysis was performed on seven studies conducted in Chinese in order to determine how the Chinese data as a whole agree or disagree with previous findings in other languages. All seven studies reviewed in our analysis used the priming technique to determine the degree of activation of alternative meanings of an ambiguous word in sentence context The analysis reveals a small but consistent effect of context on lexical access: the contextually appropriate interpretation of a word consistently shows greater priming than the inappropriate interpretation. We further show that sentence contexts interact closely with the meaning frequency of an ambiguous word. We also identify variables in these studies such as length of context and timing of presentation that could influence the strength of the context effect.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitute for Cognitive Science at Seoul National University
ISBN (Print)1598-2327
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Context effects
  • Lexical access
  • Lexical ambiguity
  • Chinese sentence processing
  • meta-analysis


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