Hong Kong Chinese character psycholinguistic norms: ratings of 4376 single Chinese characters on semantic radical transparency, age‐of‐acquisition, familiarity, imageability, and concreteness

Yen Na Yum, I. Fan Su, Kai Yan Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Several norms of psycholinguistic features of Chinese characters exist in Mandarin Chinese, but only a few are available in Cantonese or in the traditional script, and none includes semantic radical transparency ratings. This study presents subjective ratings of age-of-acquisition (AoA), familiarity, imageability, concreteness, and semantic radical transparency in 4376 Chinese characters. The single Chinese characters were rated individually on the five dimensions by 20 native Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong to form the Hong Kong Chinese Character Psycholinguistic Norms (HKCCPN). The split-half reliability and intra-class correlations testified to the high internal reliability of the ratings. Their convergent and discriminant patterns in relations to other psycholinguistic measures echoed previous findings reported on Chinese. There were high correlations for semantic radical transparency, imageability and concreteness, and moderate-to-high correlations for AoA and familiarity among subsets of items that had been collected in previous studies. Concurrent validity analyses showed convergence in predicting behavioral response times in various tasks (lexical decision, naming, and writing-to-dictation) when compared with other Chinese character databases. High predictive validity was shown in writing-to-dictation data from an independent sample of 20 native Cantonese speakers. Several objective psycholinguistic measures (character frequency, stroke number, number of words formed, number of homophones and number of meanings) were included in this database to facilitate its use. These new ratings extend the currently available norms in language and reading research in Cantonese Chinese for researchers, clinicians, and educators, as well as provide them with a wider choice of stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavior Research Methods
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Age-of-acquisition
  • Cantonese
  • Chinese characters
  • Concreteness
  • Familiarity
  • Imageability
  • Psycholinguistics norms
  • Semantic radical transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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