Event-related potential studies of rhyme judgments in alphabetic languages show that nonrhyming word pairs elicit a larger negative-going wave peaking at 450 ms after stimulus onset than rhyming word pairs. We use Chinese characters to explore the extent to which this N450 rhyming effect reflects phonological processing. Using Chinese characters provides an advantage over alphabetic scripts because rhyming characters can have nonoverlapping orthographic forms, something not possible in alphabetic scripts. We recorded event-related potentials when the Chinese speakers made rhyme judgments to Chinese and English words. An N450 effect was observed in both the languages. Moreover, the N450 effects exhibited in the two languages were correlated. The results support the phonological account of the N450 effect and indicate that similar phonological operations are involved in different languages. NeuroReport 21: 636-640 (C) 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.