Altani, Georgiou, Deng, Cho, Katopodi, Wei & Protopapas: Is processing of symbols and words influenced by writing system? Evidence from Chinese, Korean, English, and Greek
I: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Online first
Angeliki Altani, George K. Gergiou, Ciping Deng, Jeung-Ryeul Cho, Katerina Katopodi, Wei Wei & Athanassios Protopapas
We examined cross-linguistic effects in the relationship between serial and discrete versions of digit naming and word reading. In total, 113 Mandarin-speaking Chinese children, 100 Korean children, 112 English-speaking Canadian children, and 108 Greek children in Grade 3 were administered tasks of serial and discrete naming of words and digits. Interrelations among tasks indicated that the link between rapid naming and reading is largely determined by the format of the tasks across orthographies. Multigroup path analyses with discrete and serial word reading as dependent variables revealed commonalities as well as significant differences between writing systems. The path coefficient from discrete digits to discrete words was greater for the more transparent orthographies, consistent with more efficient sight-word processing. The effect of discrete word reading on serial word reading was stronger in alphabetic languages, where there was also a suppressive effect of discrete digit naming. However, the effect of serial digit naming on serial word reading did not differ among the four language groups. This pattern of relationships challenges a universal account of reading fluency acquisition while upholding a universal role of rapid serial naming, further distinguishing between multi-element interword and intraword processing.