Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Lexical databases are essential tools for studies on language processing and acquisition. Most previous Chinese lexical databases have focused on materials for adults, yet little is known about reading materials for children and how lexical properties from these materials affect children's reading comprehension. In the present study, we provided the first large database of 2999 Chinese characters and 2182 words collected from the official textbooks recently issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the People's Republic of China for most elementary schools in Mainland China, as well as norms from both school-aged children and adults. The database incorporates key orthographic, phonological, and semantic factors from these lexical units. A word-naming task was used to investigate the effects of these factors in character and word processing in both adults and children. The results suggest that: (1) as the grade level increases, visual complexity of those characters and words increases whereas semantic richness and frequency decreases; (2) the effects of lexical predictors on processing both characters and words vary across children and adults; (3) the effect of age of acquisition shows different patterns on character and word-naming performance. The database is available on Open Science Framework (OSF) ( ) for future studies on Chinese language development.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Res Methods

Publication Date



Chinese, Elementary school textbooks, Lexical database, Word-naming task