This study investigates the contributions of semantic, phonological, and orthographic factors to morphological awareness of 413 Chinese-speaking students in Grades 2, 4, and 6, and its relationship with reading comprehension. Participants were orally presented with pairs of bimorphemic compounds and asked to judge whether the first morphemes of the words shared a meaning. Morpheme identity (same or different), whole-word semantic relatedness (high or low), orthography (same or different), and phonology (same or different) were manipulated. By Grade 6, children were able to focus on meaning similarities across morphemes while ignoring the distraction of form, but they remained influenced by whole-word semantic relatedness. Children's ability to overcome the distraction of phonology consistently improved with age, but did not reach ceiling, whereas the parallel ability for orthography reached ceiling at Grade 6. Morphological judgment performance was a significant unique predictor of reading comprehension when character naming and vocabulary knowledge were accounted for.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language