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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The human brain was not designed to encode and decode print. Writing and reading appear to have been spontaneously invented only two or three times in human history and are now an integral part of participating in the milieu. Because encoding and decoding print is not a natural skill, the human brain must deploy various mechanisms in very precise and coordinated ways to decipher linguistic meaning from it. Recruiting all the necessary mechanisms for the singular purpose of processing print requires years of practice. Adults who struggle with print literacy will have challenges utilizing social resources available to them without intervention and support. This chapter discusses the neurolinguistic processes required for print literacy, with a special emphasis on research conducted on deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

Keywords: cognition, print literacy, neurolinguistics, linguistics, signed language, reading/decoding, writing/encoding

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