- 成城文藝 (ISSN:02865718)
- no.221, pp.98-84, 2012-12
Among three distinctive types of Japanese writing systems (Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana), a behavioral experiment using 97 university students as subjects implies that Katakana is regarded as most difficult (approximately 90%) followed by Hiragana (10%) for the comprehension. Kanji is easiest to comprehend (100%). This indicates Kanji might be comprehended by accessing semantic recognition directly. On the other hand, Hiragana and Katakana might be comprehended by accessing semantic recognition through phonological recognition with an obligatory subvocalization. However, the subvocalization could occur depending on the familiarity or difficulty of stimuli. I also conclude that the subvocalization includes shallow to deep ones depending on the three Japanese writing systems. In addition, interpreters and translators should avoid using Katakana words as much as possible in order for both their listeners and readers to ease their cognitive workload for understanding the meanings of the words.