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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Most of the current understanding of how we produce written language comes from psycholinguistic and cognitive neuropsychological investigations. More recently, both neuroimaging and lesion-based investigations have provided valuable information not only regarding the neural bases of the cognitive processes of written language production, but also regarding key cognitive processes and representations. This chapter focuses on contributions to current understanding of written word production that come from the study of the brain. Four fundamental issues of cognitive representation and processing in spelling are reviewed: the distinction between orthographic long-term and working-memory; the distinction between lexical and sublexical spelling processes; the relationship between reading and spelling; and the role of abstract letter representations in spelling. It specifically highlights the neural findings that have contributed significantly to current understanding of these issues. In some cases, the neural data provide convergence with behavioral findings; in others, they constitute unique contributions. The work reviewed here exemplifies the role of neurolinguistics evidence in furthering understanding of language processing and representation.

Keywords: written word, spelling, orthography, lexical and sublexical processing, graphomotor plans, stroke, aphasia, dysgraphia, working memory

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