Orthographies in the world are substantially diverse in the way they represent phonology. In shallow orthographies such as Italian, Serbo-Croatian, and Korean Hangul the relationship between orthography and phonology is relatively regular. However, the relationship between print and sound is arbitrary and opaque in deep orthographies, including logographic Chinese, English and Hebrew. Written Korean uses both an alphabetic script, Hangul, and a logographic script, Hanja. Since Hangul and Hanja represent linguistic information in different forms, they provide an excellent opportunity to test whether universal or script-specific processes are utilized in word recognition of different scripts.
This chapter first reviews dual-route models of the role of phonology in visual word recognition, and then a brief description of Hangul and Hanja follows. Finally, empirical evidence will be presented to demonstrate different uses of phonology in the word recognition of Hangul and Hanja.
Two pathways in word recognition
There has been an ongoing question as to whether word recognition is based on the visual analysis of the input or mediated by phonology (Seidenberg, 1985). Dual-route models assume two possible pathways to the processing of a printed word (Coltheart, 1980; Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon & Ziegler, 2001). One is a direct lexical path, where access to meaning proceeds directly from orthography. The lexical route activates phonological information by matching orthographic input stimulus to a known word stored in an internal lexicon. The other is a phonologically mediated pathway, which goes from orthography to phonology, and then from phonology to meaning.