Literacy is an important concern of contemporary societies. This book offers a comprehensive survey of recent efforts to understand the nature of written language and its role in cognition and in social and intellectual life. The authors represent a wide range of disciplines - cognitive psychology, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, education, history and philosophy - and address a wide range of questions. Is literacy a decisive factor in historical and cultural change? Does it alter the mental and social lives of individuals? If so how and via what mechanisms? Does learning to read and write change children's speech, thought or orientation to language? What are children and adults learning when they acquire literate skills? Are there differences - linguistic, psychological and functional - between speaking and writing? And are there differences between oral and written languages?Olson, David R. is the author of 'Literacy, Language and Learning: The Nature and Consequences of Reading and Writing', published 1985 under ISBN 9780521319126 and ISBN 0521319129.