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Academic Paper


Title: Insight into the Structure of Compound Words among Speakers of Chinese and English
Author: Jie Zhang
Institution: Western Kentucky University
Author: Richard C. Anderson
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Author: Qiuying Wang
Institution: Oklahoma State University
Author: Jerome L. Packard
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Author: Xinchun Wu
Institution: Beijing Normal University
Author: Shan Tang
Institution: Beijing Normal University
Author: Xiaoling Ke
Institution: Oklahoma State University
Linguistic Field: Morphology
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Abstract: Knowledge of compound word structures in Chinese and English was investigated, comparing 435 Chinese and 258 Americans, including second, fourth, and sixth graders, and college undergraduates. As anticipated, the results revealed that Chinese speakers performed better on a word structure analogy task than their English-speaking counterparts. Also, as anticipated, speakers of both languages performed better on noun + noun and verb + particle compounds, which are more productive in their respective languages than noun + verb and verb + noun compounds, which are less productive. Both Chinese and English speakers performed significantly better on novel compounds than on familiar compounds, most likely because familiar compounds are lexicalized and do not invite decomposition into constituents.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 33, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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