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Literature related to orthography, phonology, and reading is reviewed and synthesized in order to develop a rationale for a "goodness of fit" hypothesis. This hypothesis asserts that a writing system which is more consistently fit to the phonological structure of a particular language is more likely to facilitate learning to read. Conversely, a language whose writing system is less consistent or more abstract is likely to lead to more difficulty for the child learning to read. This claim is examined in the context of studies on various writing systems, cross-cultural and bilingual research, history of the language, and studies on English generative phonology


Center for the Study of Reading, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Technical Report No. 57.