Exploring word recognition in a semi-alphabetic script: the case of Devanagari. Academic Article uri icon


  • Unlike other writing systems that are readily classifiable as alphabetic or syllabic in their structure, the Indic Devanagari script (of which Hindi is an example) has properties of both syllabic and alphabetic writing systems. Whereas Devanagari consonants are written in a linear left-to-right order, vowel signs are positioned nonlinearly above, below, or to either side of the consonants. This fact results in certain words in Hindi for which, in a given syllable, the vowel precedes the consonant in writing but follows it in speech. The current research exploited this property of the script to examine when the disparity between spatial and temporal sequencing would incur a processing cost and the implications of the findings from naming speed, accuracy, and writing order for the level at which words in Devanagari are segmented. The results support a partly phonemic and partly syllabic level of segmentation, consistent with the structural hybridity of the script.

published proceedings

  • Brain Lang

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Vaid, J., & Gupta, A.

citation count

  • 112

complete list of authors

  • Vaid, Jyotsna||Gupta, Ashum

publication date

  • April 2002