The Kagunita of Kannada—Learning to Read and Write an Indian Alphasyllabary

Authored by: Prathibha Karanth

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805846522
eBook ISBN: 9780203824719
Adobe ISBN: 9781136781353


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Much of the empirical research as well as theoretical models on reading processes have been based mainly on alphabetic orthography, most notably English. More recently doubts have been raised regarding the applicability of findings from alphabetic writing systems to readers of writing systems that are nonalphabetic in nature. At the same time, apart from some limited work on morphosyllabic scripts, little is known about the nature and processing of other nonalphabetic writing systems. This chapter presents the features of Kannada, a Dravidian language used in Southern India, characterized by an alphasyllabic script, along with research findings and their implications for literacy instruction.

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