ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

3aSP2. Reading, reading machines, and communications research.

Alvin M. Liberman

Haskins Lab., 270 Crown St., New Haven, CT 06511

What knowledge or habit of mind must would-be readers command that mastery of speech will not have taught them? Surely, that is the first question one must answer if one is to understand the reading process and the ills that attend it. Yet the question could hardly be accommodated, let alone answered, within the theory of speech that was almost universally accepted when Frank Cooper entered the field. It therefore counts as a major achievement of his research that others were able to gain from it a critical insight into the relation between the biologically primary processes of speech and the biologically secondary processes of reading, and thus to see more clearly the difficulties that beset the progressions from the one to the other.