Cross-language transfer of insight into the structure of compound words

Jie Zhang, Richard C. Anderson, Hong Li, Qiong Dong, Xinchun Wu, Yan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-language transfer of awareness of the structure of compound words was investigated among native speakers of Chinese who were learning English as a second language. Chinese fifth graders received instruction in the morphology of four types of compound words in either Chinese or English. They then completed both the Chinese and English versions of a compound word structure analogy task. Compared with children who received no instruction, children who received instruction in Chinese were able to transfer knowledge they had acquired of compound types in Chinese to comparable types in English. Reverse transfer from English to Chinese was found among children with high reading proficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-336
Number of pages26
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Compound morphology
  • Cross-language transfer
  • Morphological awareness
  • Reading proficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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