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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of psycholinguistic research on semantic processing in Chinese. In terms of word-level processing, research has demonstrated that nouns with more meanings are accessed faster than nouns with fewer meanings, pointing to a random-access model of lexical access. In addition, cross-modal reaction time experiments have demonstrated that all meanings of a word are first exhaustively accessed and then the correct meaning is selected, indicating a bottom-up and modular model of lexical access. In terms of sentential-level processing of conceptual metaphors, studies have demonstrated that conventionalized conceptual metaphors are accessed equally as fast as literal controls, but novel metaphors involve more processing time and resources. Moreover, the visual presentation of metaphors in paragraph form allows for online integration and access of conceptual metaphors. These findings have provided cross-linguistic support for models of lexical representation and access, lexical ambiguity resolution, and conceptual metaphor processing.

Keywords: psycholinguistic research, semantic processing, random-access model, lexical ambiguity resolution, lexical representation, lexical access, conceptual metaphors, conceptual metaphor processing

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