Semantic effects in word naming: Evidence from English and Japanese Kanji

Naoki Shibahara, Marco Zorzi, Martin P. Hill, Taeko Wydell, Brian Butterworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments investigated whether reading aloud is affected by a semantic variable, imageability. The first two experiments used English, and the third experiment used Japanese Kanji as a way of testing the generality of the findings across orthographies. The results replicated the earlier findings that readers were slower and more error prone in reading low-frequency exception words when they were low in imageability than when they were high in imageability (Strain, Patterson, & Seidenberg, 1995). This result held for both English and Kanji even when age of acquisition was taken into account as a possible confounding variable, and the imageability effect was stronger in Kanji compared to English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A
Volume56 A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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