Variables affecting Korean word recognition: focusing on syllable shape

한글 단어 재인에 영향을 미치는 변인: 음절 형태를 중심으로

  • Min, Suyoung ;
  • Lee, Chang H.
  • 민수영 ;
  • 이창환
  • Received : 2018.11.02
  • Accepted : 2018.11.28
  • Published : 2018.12.30


Recent studies have demonstrated that word frequency, word length, neighborhood and word shape may have a role in visual word recognition. Shape information may affect word processing in different ways as Korean letter system works differently than that of English. The purpose of this study was to apply Gestalt's continuity principle to Korean alphabetic script(hangul), and to investigate the processing unit of hangul and to verify whether syllable shape affects word recognition in hangul. In experiment 1, three syllable words were utilized and two variables; 1) syllable types(horizontal syllable shape, e.g., "가". vertical syllable shape, e.g., "고") and 2) presenting direction (horizontal, vertical) were manipulated. Whereas "가" meets the criteria of Gestalt's continuity principle, "고" does not. Based on the result of lexical decision time, horizontal syllable shape type showed significant performance improvement, when compared to vertical syllable shape type, regardless of the presenting direction. In experiment 2, syllable types(horizontal syllable shape, vertical syllable shape) and the visual relationship between prime and target(identical, similar, different) were manipulated by using masked priming. There was a significant performance difference between the visual relationship of prime and target, and thus the effect of syllable shape was verified.


word recognition;continuity principle;processing unit;syllable shape;masked priming


Supported by : 한국연구재단