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Significance of Sequence of Strokes in Chinese Handwriting Examination

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This paper reports a statistical study on the sequence of strokes of 61 commonly encountered Chinese radicals and characters written by 372 invited subjects. The distribution of different writing sequence of these Chinese radicals and characters was examined. Comparison of the sequence of strokes executed by the subjects with the standard rule of writing these Chinese radicals and characters revealed that around 60% of the subjects wrote in the correct sequence. Pair comparison of sequences of strokes in Chinese handwriting among the 372 subjects was also performed. The results demonstrated that no two individuals wrote all the 61 radicals and characters with the same sequence of strokes. The findings indicate that, despite some basic rules governing the writing sequence of Chinese characters, writers tend to develop their own habits. The findings also support the hypothesis that the handwriting of experienced writers is individual.

Keywords: Chinese handwriting; forensic sciences; individuality in handwriting; sequence of strokes; statistical study

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Questioned Documents Section, Government Laboratory, Ho Man Tin Government Laboratory, 88 Chung Hau Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China 2: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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