The independence of letter, word, and meaning identification in reading

Smith, Frank; Holmes, Deborah Lott
March 1971
Reading Research Quarterly;Spring1971, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p394
Academic Journal
TWO TRADITIONAL assumptions about fluent reading are examined and rejected: that identification of letters is a necessary preliminary to word identification and that identification of words is a prerequisite for comprehension. Memory and visual information-processing constraints preclude the prior identification of individual letters or words if comprehension is to be achieved. A feature analytic model is presented, proposing that letter identification and the comprehension of meaning are three distinct tasks that can be performed independently on the same visual information.


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