Understanding word production raises several questions about the mental representations and processes that are involved when writing. Current research on word production investigates the nature of the linguistic or statistical units that are activated when writing words (Bonin, Malardier, Méot, & Fayol, 2006; Kandel, Peereman, Grosjacques, & Fayol, 2011; Lambert, Kandel, Fayol, & Espéret, 2009; Shen, Damian, Stadthagen-Gonzalez, 2013), the relationship between writing and speaking (Damian, Dorjee & Stadthagen-Gonzalez, 2011; Roux & Bonin, 2011; Zhang & Damian, 2010), the impact of the notational system used for writing (e.g. ideograms or alphabetic), the role of the writing medium (script or cursive handwriting, typing, see for example e.g., Longcamp, Boucard, Gilhodes, Anton, Roth, Nazarian, & Velay, 2008).
In addition, neuroimaging techniques (EEG, fMRI) now allow studying the neuroanatomical substrates of writing, which strengthens our understanding of the mechanisms involved for producing words (e.g., Dufor & Rapp, 2013; Perret, Bonin, & Laganaro, 2014). Neuropsychological studies of brain-damaged patients also provide clues to identify the brain structures involved in written production (e.g., Tsapkini & Rapp, 2010).
Conducting developmental studies is also important to better understand writing acquisition and learning to write. However, very scarce developmental studies have been conducted (see Kandel & Perret, 2014) and consequently how learning to write may affect the mental mechanisms of written word production is still largely unknown.
1 – Processing units in writing words
Different linguistic (graphemes, syllables, morphemes…) and statistical (n-grams) units play a role when writing words. This session will aim at discussing the processing units that are involved in word production through the presentation of studies that investigated different types of units.
2 – Writing words in different languages
Different notational systems (e.g., logographic, alphabetical) are used for transcribing languages. Languages also differ on transparency or constancy of their spelling system. This session will address how writing in different languages with different spelling and notational systems may affect the mental representations and processes involved when writing words.
3 – Learning to write words
When children learn to write, they need to learn to orchestrate the multiple levels of representations (orthographic, morphological…) that are involved in writing with graphomotor processes that are not yet fluent. This session will aim at understanding how the processes and representations involved in writing may change across development, and how coordination of the low- and high-level processes changes through development of writing.
4 – Methods and tools for analyzing writing
This session will focus on the tools, methods, and techniques that are used for recording and analyzing data related to typing and handwriting in word production tasks. The session will also address the kind of dependent variables that can be analyzed as well as the statistical analyses that can be carried out on these variables.