Perceptual span in Turkish reading: a study on parafoveal information intake

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2017
Ormanoğlu, Zuhal
Perceptual span is the visual region where useful information can be collected at one fixation. This thesis investigates the size of the perceptual span of Turkish readers. Rayner (1975) found that the size of the perceptual span for English readers is about 14-15 characters to the right and 3-4 characters to the left of fixation. However, different characteristics of languages affect the size of the perceptual span. Being an agglutinative language and having shallow orthography are two features of Turkish that may have facilitative effect for readers. In an experiment using gaze contingent moving paradigm (N=48), we compared full paragraph condition with five different window size conditions (7, 11, 15, 19 and 23 characters to the right of fixation) in silent and oral reading. To imitate natural reading conditions, readers were presented paragraphs instead of single sentences. Preliminary results show a significant difference in eye movement measures (first fixation duration, first run dwell time, regression-in-count, regression-out-count) between full paragraph and window conditions. We have not observed a significant difference in reading rate. This suggests that the effect of parafoveal constraint follows a different pattern for Turkish readers, and this requires that perceptual span in Turkish should be investigated by a complementary approach. 

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Citation Formats
Z. Ormanoğlu, “Perceptual span in Turkish reading: a study on parafoveal information intake,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.