In English, the size of the regularity effect on word reading-aloud latency decreases across position of irregularity. This has been explained by a sublexical serially operating reading mechanism. It is unclear whether sublexical serial processing occurs in reading two-character kanji words aloud. To investigate this issue, we studied how the position of atypical character-to-sound correspondences influenced reading performance. When participants read inconsistent-atypical words aloud mixed randomly with nonwords, reading latencies of words with an inconsistent-atypical correspondence in the initial position were significantly longer than words with an inconsistent-atypical correspondence in the second position. The significant difference of reading latencies for inconsistent-atypical words disappeared when inconsistent-atypical words were presented without nonwords. Moreover, reading latencies for words with an inconsistent-atypical correspondence in the first position were shorter than for words with a typical correspondence in the first position. This typicality effect was absent when the atypicality was in the second position. These position-of-atypicality effects suggest that sublexical processing of kanji occurs serially and that the phonology of two-character kanji words is generated from both a lexical parallel process and a sublexical serial process.
- sublexical serial processing
- kanji reading
- position of atypicality effect