This study examined whether differential word length effects in the two visual fields imply hemisphere-dependent modes of word recognition. Length was defined as the number of constituent characters of Chinese foreign names (Experiments 1 and 2), as the number of constituent morphemes of three-character words (Experiments 3and 4), and as that of constituent words of phrases (Experiments 5 and 6). Two types of experimental tasks were adopted, one required linguistic judgments on overall items (Experiments 1, 3, and 5) and the other was target detection tasks performed on the same set of stimuli (Experiments 2, 4, and 6). Five of the six experiments failed to find any kind of interaction between length and visual field. An interaction was observed only for the detection of characters embedded in foreign names, that is, when lexical access is least involved in the task, suggesting that word recognition plays a minimum role in the phenomenon. Other observations suggested that modes of word recognition are more frequency-dependent than hemisphere-dependent, and that Chinese compound words and phrases, although hardly distinguishable, do behave differently.