Analysis of Reading Research Limitations

Language processing schema.
Is far from “Reading.”
Without semantic input —
Deep structures application.

Scheme ABCDE
Poetic Form Tanka 
Metre 0100 101001 11110 010101 110010
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 124
Words 18
Sentences 4
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 5
Lines Amount 5
Letters per line (avg) 19
Words per line (avg) 3
Letters per stanza (avg) 97
Words per stanza (avg) 15

About this poem

A Newsworthy article on Science dated 14 April 2022 announces: “There’s a Strange New Discovery About The Brain Structures Involved in Reading Skill.” The article elaborates on this headline claim by stating that “Our ability to look at abstract symbols [e.g., the array, order, spacing, and combining of letters of the alphabet, arranged and sequenced on a page] and map them onto sounds is one of the key skills for becoming a competent reader. In the academic world, this is known as phonological processing. ” The report continues to refer to brain asymmetry and cerebral lateralization. All of these examples are provided by and buttressed by empirical research data, amplified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan brain activity of subjects during reading, described as phonological decoding. What is missing in this report, and is highly essential to an understanding of reading, is that mere phonological decoding (the “sounding out” or articulation) of abstract surface structure symbols is insufficient to qualify as reading (i.e. “interpretation”), which requires a decoding of both the phonological representation of abstract symbols on a page, as well as their semantic input at deep structural levels of representation involving the reader’s native or near-native fluency of and familiarity with the cultural, and historical background of the symbols within a contextual framework. Empirical research in reading that ignores the metaphysical deep structural aspects of language, may be aptly described as phonological language processing of the brain structures involved in reading, but not reading per se. 

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Written on April 20, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on April 20, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

5 sec read

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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