Reading in Languages Other Than English: Professor Marcus Taft

What is this research about?

Different languages make use of different types of script. For example, Chinese does not use an alphabetic system, but rather, represents whole words as single characters. This raises the question of how the cognitive mechanisms involved in reading different types of script differ.

Even amongst alphabetically scripted languages there are potential differences that could influence the way in which they are read. For example, Spanish has much clearer syllable boundaries than does English and our research has shown that this leads to differences in the way in which visually presented words are analysed in the two languages.

Other researchers recently working on this project:

Prof Carlos Álvarez, University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Prof Xingshan Li, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China
Dr Chang H. Lee, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea
Dr Say Young Kim, National University of Singapore

Recent publications relating to this research:

Álvarez, C. J., Taft, M., & Hernández-Cabrera, J. A. (2017). Syllabic strategy as opposed to coda optimization in the segmentation of Spanish letter-strings using word spotting. Scientific Studies of Reading [doi: 10.1080/10888438.2016.1254220]
Álvarez, C. J., Garciá-Saavedra, G., Luque, J. L., & Taft, M. (2016). Syllabic parsing in children: A developmental study using visual word-spotting in Spanish. Journal of Child Language [doi: 10.1017/S0305123916000040]
Kim, S. Y., Wang, M., & Taft, M. (2015). Morphological decomposition in the recognition of prefixed and suffixed words: Evidence from Korean. Scientific Studies of Reading, 19, 183-203.
Lee, C.H., & Taft, M. (2011). Subsyllabic structure reflected in letter confusability effects in Korean word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18, 129-134.
Tamaoka, K., & Taft, M. (2010). The sensitivity of native Japanese speakers to On and Kun kanji readings. Reading and Writing, 23, 957-968.
Lee, C.H., & Taft, M. (2009). Are onsets and codas important in processing letter position? A comparison of TL effects in English and Korean. Journal of Memory & Language, 60, 530-542.