- Oxford Library of Psychology
- The Oxford Handbook of Reading
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- The Oxford Handbook of Reading: Setting the Stage
- Writing Systems: Their Properties and Implications for Reading
- Visual Word Recognition
- The Work of the Eyes During Reading
- Visual Word Recognition in the Bayesian Reader Framework
- Neighborhood Effects in Visual Word Recognition and Reading
- Cross-Linguistic Perspectives on Letter-Order Processing: Empirical Findings and Theoretical Considerations
- The Nature of Lexical Representation in Visual Word Recognition
- Are Polymorphemic Words Processed Differently From Other Words During Reading?
- Individual Differences Among Skilled Readers: The Role of Lexical Quality
- What Does Acquired Dyslexia Tell Us About Reading in the Mind and Brain?
- Literacy and Literacy Development in Bilinguals
- The Role of Sound in Silent Reading
- Reading Sentences: Syntactic Parsing and Semantic Interpretation
- Models of Discourse Comprehension
- The Role of Words in Chinese Reading
- How Is Information Integrated Across Fixations in Reading?
- Direct Lexical and Nonlexical Control of Fixation Duration in Reading
- E-Z Reader: An Overview of the Model and Two Recent Applications
- How Children Learn to Read Words
- Children’s Spelling Development: Theories and Evidence
- Learning to Read and Spell Words in Different Writing Systems
- Children’s Reading Comprehension and Comprehension Difficulties
- Development of Dyslexia
- How Learning to Read Influences Language and Cognition
- Young Children’s Home Literacy Experiences
- Primary Grade Reading Instruction in the United States
- African American English and Its Link to Reading Achievement
- Teachers’ Knowledge About Beginning Reading Development and Instruction
- Adolescent Literacy: Development and Instruction
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
An understanding of the nature of writing is an important foundation for studies of how people read and how they learn to read. This chapter discusses the characteristics of modern writing systems with a view toward providing that foundation. We consider both the appearance of writing systems and how they function. All writing represents the words of a language according to a set of rules. However, important properties of a language often go unrepresented in writing. Change and variation in the spoken language result in complex links to speech. Redundancies in language and writing mean that readers can often get by without taking in all of the visual information. These redundancies also mean that readers must often supplement the visual information that they do take in with knowledge about the language and about the world.
Brett Kessler is an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches in the Linguistics Program and the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program. He works on developing computational techniques for studying language phylogenetics and the psychology of phonemic writing systems, with emphasis on statistical methods for hypothesis testing in linguistics.
Rebecca Treiman, Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis.
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