Edited by S. Borgwaldt and Terry Joyce
[Written Language & Literacy 14:1] 2011
► pp. 39–57
Similarities among the shapes of writing and their effects on learning
Writing systems are usually studied in terms of the level of language that they represent, with little attention to the shapes that are used to do so. Those shapes are not random or accidental, however. They tend to be similar to one another within a script. Many of the Latin letters have a roughly vertical stem or hasta with an appendage or coda to the right. This arrangement is more common than one with the coda on the left of the hasta. We present data to show that young children are generally better at copying and writing from memory shapes such as <b> and <F>, which have the typical arrangement with the coda on the right, than those such as <d> and <J>, which do not. The results suggest that children start to learn about the statistics of the letter shapes before they know how or that these shapes represent language. Keywords: letter shapes; letters; statistical learning; Latin alphabet; reversal; left-right orientation; directionality; hasta-coda-structure
Cited by 30 other publications
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