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The experiential basis of speech and writing as different cognitive domains

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Traditionally, writing is viewed as a code that stands in one-to-one correspondence to spoken language, which is therefore also viewed as a code. However, this is a delusion, which is shared by educators and has serious consequences for cognition, both on individual and on social levels. Natural linguistic signs characteristic for the activity of languaging and their symbolizations (graphic markings) are ontologically different phenomena; speech and writing belong to experiential domains of different dynamics. These dynamics impact differently on the linguistic/behavioral strategies of individuals and communities, viewed as second- and third-order living systems operating in a consensual domain as structure-determined systems. Failure to acknowledge this contributes to the spread of functional illiteracy in modern societies, which may lead to cognitive/communicative dysfunction. Technology-enhanced new literacies challenge the value of traditional written culture, raising questions about the relationship between speech and writing and their roles in human evolution
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Keywords: consensual domain; phenomenology; speech; structural determinism; understanding; writing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 2, 2009

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