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Title: Learning to read Chinese as a second language : building lexical representations in the initial stages of character learning
Author: Sun, Weize Kristian
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 6481
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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How do learners of Chinese as a second language acquire characters? When and how do initial L2 Chinese learners build the phonological, semantic and orthographic representations of the graphics? My research investigated the very earliest stages of learning Chinese and the effect of grouping, focusing on how we initially build these representations especially for a writing system which differs from our original one. My research demonstrated, for the first time, that in a time span of only seven days, a considerable number of behavioural changes could be observed to confirm that the learning of Chinese characters takes places. Moreover, representations of the learnt Chinese characters were maintained in long-term memory over the course of several days without further inputs. In this thesis, I provided clear evidence for that learning Chinese characters in semantic group without semantic radical and in phonological group by homophones contributes to better learning results compared to ungrouped learning. Meantime, grouping in semantic category with shared radicals or in rhyming sets inhibits the specification of representations. Reasons for such effects could be attributed to the coactivation of relevant lexical representations as well as to the degree of specification of newly formed lexical representations. A timeline of the initial L2 Chinese learning was also reconstructed based on empirical evidence. The consolidation effect of sleep was also addressed and discussed in this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; L Education (General) ; P Philology. Linguistics