Cognitive precursors of reading: a cross-linguistic perspective

Karin Landerl*, Anne Castles, Rauno Parrila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we survey current evidence on cognitive precursors of reading in different orthographies by reviewing studies with a cross-linguistic research design. Graphic symbol knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and rapid automatized naming were found to be associated with reading acquisition in all orthographies investigated. However, apart from rapid naming, this association is mostly interactive, meaning that young children develop their symbol knowledge, and phonological and morphological awareness during reading development. Especially for phonological awareness, cross-linguistic evidence involving phonologically transparent orthographies, both alphabetic and non-alphabetic, suggests that it may be less of a hurdle than in the complex English orthography. Cross-linguistic research designs can be a useful methodological approach to test limits of reading theories that were initially developed for alphabetic orthographies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number2
Early online date27 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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