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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Script Effects as the Hidden Drive of the Mind, Cognition, and Culture


  • Examines the origin, emergence, and co-evolution of written language, the human mind, and culture within the purview of script effects

  • Investigates how the scripts we read over time shape our cognition, mind, and thought patterns

  • Provides a new outlook on the four representative writing systems of the world

  • Discusses the consequences of literacy for the functioning of the mind

Part of the book series: Literacy Studies (LITS, volume 21)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Language, Cognition, and Script Effects

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 3-24Open Access
    3. From Linguistic Relativity to Script Relativity

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 37-58Open Access
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 59-59
    2. The Alphabet

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 61-70Open Access
    3. The East and the West

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 107-134Open Access
    4. The Consequences of Reading: The Reading Brain

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 135-145Open Access
    5. Linguistic Evidence for Script Relativity

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 147-174Open Access
    6. Neurolinguistic Evidence for Script Relativity

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 175-196Open Access
  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 197-197
    2. The New Trend: The Word Plus the Image

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 199-208Open Access
    3. The Impact of Digital Text

      • Hye K. Pae
      Pages 209-217Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 231-251

About this book

This open access volume reveals the hidden power of the script we read in and how it shapes and drives our minds, ways of thinking, and cultures.  Expanding on the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis (i.e., the idea that language affects the way we think), this volume proposes the “Script Relativity Hypothesis” (i.e., the idea that the script in which we read affects the way we think) by offering a unique perspective on the effect of script (alphabets, morphosyllabaries, or multi-scripts) on our attention, perception, and problem-solving.  Once we become literate, fundamental changes occur in our brain circuitry to accommodate the new demand for resources.  The powerful effects of literacy have been demonstrated by research on literate versus illiterate individuals, as well as cross-scriptal transfer, indicating that literate brain networks function differently, depending on the script being read.  This book identifies the locus of differences between the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, and between the East and the West, as the neural underpinnings of literacy.  To support the “Script Relativity Hypothesis, it reviews a vast corpus of empirical studies, including anthropological accounts of human civilization, social psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, applied linguistics, second language studies, and cross-cultural communication. It also discusses the impact of reading from screens in the digital age, as well as the impact of bi-script or multi-script use, which is a growing trend around the globe.  As a result, our minds, ways of thinking, and cultures are now growing closer together, not farther apart.


  • Open Access
  • The emergence of written language
  • Linguistic relativity and reading
  • Psychological mechanisms of reading
  • Script effects and critical contrastive rhetoric
  • Writing systems and literacy

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA

    Hye K. Pae

About the author

Hye K. Pae, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Applied Linguistics and Psycholinguistics in the Literacy and Second Language Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati, U.S.A.  Her main research centers on the relationship between reading and cognition, reading in the first and second languages, cross-linguistic influences, and assessment challenges across cultures.  Her work in these areas has appeared in books, book chapters, and a number of articles in main journals of the fields of psycholinguistics, second language studies, and assessment.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Script Effects as the Hidden Drive of the Mind, Cognition, and Culture

  • Authors: Hye K. Pae

  • Series Title: Literacy Studies

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-55151-3

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-55154-4

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-55152-0

  • Series ISSN: 2214-000X

  • Series E-ISSN: 2214-0018

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIV, 251

  • Number of Illustrations: 21 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Literacy, Language Education, Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Lingusitics

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)