2001 年 19 巻 2 号 p. 83-92
This study investigated how spaces between words affect reading of Japanese sentences. Eye movements were recorded during silent reading of the sentences. Two factors were varied: (1) kanji-kana mixed or hiragana only sentences and (2) presence or absence of spaces. Results showed that spaced hiragana only sentences were read faster and with fewer fixations and shorter gaze durations than unspaced sentences. In addition, first fixation positions in words of the spaced sentences were closer to optimal viewing position than those of the unspaced sentences. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in reading time and eye movement measures between reading of spaced kanji-kana mixed sentences and that of unspaced sentences. From these results, the functions of spaces in the reading of hiragana only sentences and those of kanji in the reading of kanji-kana mixed sentences were discussed.