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Ancient LiteraciesThe Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome$
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William A. Johnson and Holt N. Parker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199793983.001.0001

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Why Literacy Matters, Then and Now

Why Literacy Matters, Then and Now

(p.385) 15 Why Literacy Matters, Then and Now
Ancient Literacies

David R. Olson

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews recent work in classic literacy and the relationship between the objectification of written text and linguistic features of quotation. It shows how writing is neither equivalent to speaking nor a separate distinctive mode of communication and emphasizes the distance between expression and understanding that leads to a range of reading competencies. The chapter concludes with the use of language to reflect on language in “pure thought” fashion and why writing is important in the development of modern thought and growth of literate traditions.

Keywords:   classic literacy, written text, linguistic features, quotation, language, modern thought, literate traditions

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