Exercise 9.4

Reading a text aloud without understanding it would involve non-semantic reading (see Figure 9.8 in the textbook). There are patients who have suffered brain damage whose reading is very much of this type - they can read aloud a word, with good pronunciation, but have little sense of what it means. When parents read a bedtime story without taking in the meaning, they can give the impression of reading fluently, getting the pronunciation of words right and using punctuation appropriately. A close inspection of how they read may show that it is not quite as fluent as when they are also understanding what they read, since features of pronunciation such as where we place phrase boundaries and sentence stress do depend on understanding what we are reading.