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[css3-text] Hypertext Layout, Reading Speed and Comprehension

From: Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 07:10:50 +0000
Message-ID: <SNT138-W37EC20E80F68EBCE4959A7C5300@phx.gbl>
To: <www-style@w3.org>
CC: <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>

Cascading Style Sheets Working Group,
Greetings.  I would like to describe some topics pertaining to the CSS3 text module, markup, style, rendering, layout and subsequent readability of text.  Topical are linguistics, psycholinguistics, language comprehension, reading comprehension, phrases, phrasemes, collocations, compound terms, sentence processing, and other multidisciplinary topics.  Summarily, the use of markup and style for text layouts which can enhance reading speed and comprehension. HTML5 presently has a document structure model granularity of paragraphs.  With regard to phrase and sentence elements and style, however, <span> elements are often used, e.g. <span class="phrase"> and <span class="sentence">, and also possible are XML elements from other XMLNS which can be styled using the CSS3 namespace module. Some authors might want to describe that the hypertext contents of phrase elements should be, as possible, contiguous on lines of text.  Researchers indicate that there are advantages for so doing with regard to reading speed and comprehension.  For such phrase elements, the CSS3 style setting for text wrapping, text-wrap:avoid, indicates that a "UA may only wrap at a breakpoint within the element if there are no other valid breakpoints in the line" (http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-text/#text-wrap).  Either that is the text wrapping style for phrase elements or a new value can describe text wrapping for phrase elements.  Topical are combinations of text-wrapping settings, word-spacing settings and hyphenation settings. Also topical are intersentence spacing and otherwise styling for sentence elements.  With regard to intersentence spacing, a variety of spacing that does not render at the beginnings or at the ends of lines, the ability to indicate a custom value with CSS3, either using length units, spacing units, or both, would convenience document authors with regard to readability, aesthetics, style guides or conventions. Interestingly, text layout and rendering topics pertain to both the form and to the function of hypertext documents including with respect to reading speed and comprehension.  I have included a list of publications detailing some studies about reading.   Kind regards, Adam Sobieski    Anglin, J. M., & Miller, G. A. (1968). The role of phrase structure in the recall of meaningful verbal material. Psychonomic Science, 10, 343–344. Beeson, P. M., & Insalaco, D. (1998). Acquired Alexia: Lessons from successful treatment. Journal of The International Neuropsychological Society, 4, 621–635. Bever, T. G., Jandreau, S., Burwell, R. , Kaplan, R., & Zaenan, A. (1990). Spacing printed text to isolate major phrases improves readability. Visible Language, 25, 74–87. Brozo, W. G. Schmeler, R. V., & Spires, H. A. (1983). The beneficial effect of chunking on good readers’ comprehension of expository prose. Journal of Reading, 27, 442–445. Coleman, E. B., & Kim, I. (1961). Comparison of several styles of typography in English. Journal of Applied Psychology, 45, 262–267. Cromer, W. (1970). The Difference Model: A new explanation for some reading difficulties. Journal of Educational Psychology, 61, 671–683. Dyson, M. C. (2004). How physical text layout affects reading from screen. Behaviour & IT, 23, 377-393. Frase, L. T. , & Schwartz, N. J. (1979). Typographical cues that facilitate comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 197–206. Gerrell, H. R., & Mason, G. E. (1983). Computer-chunked and traditional text. Reading World, 22, 241–246. Glenberg, A., Willford, J., Gibson, B., Goldberg, A., & Zhu, X. (2011). Improving Reading to Improve Math. Scientific Studies of Reading. 1-25. Graf, R., & Torrey, J. (1966). Perception of phrase structure in written language. Proceedings of the 74th Annual Convention of the APA, 83–84. Granaas, M. M. (1985). Simple, applied text parsing. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 17, 209–216.. Hartley, J. (2004). Designing instructional and informational text. In D. Jonassen, (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (2nd ed., pp. 917–948). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Hartley, J. (1980). Spatial cues in text. Visible Language, 14, 67–79. Hartley, J., & Burnhill, P. (1971). Experiments with unjustified text. Visible Language, 5, 265–278. Jandreau, S., & Bever, T. G. (1992). Phrase-spaced formats improve comprehension in average readers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 143–146. Jandreau, S. M., Muncer, S. J., & Bever, T. G. (1986). Improving the readability of text with automatic phrase-sensitive formatting. British Journal of Educational Technology, 17, 128–133. Keenan, S. A. (1984). Effects of chunking and line length on reading efficiency. Visible Language, 18, 61–80. Klare, G. R., Nichols, W. H., & Shufford, E. H. (1957). The relationship of typographic arrangement to the learning of technical material. Journal of Applied Psychology, 41, 41–45. LeVasseur V. M., Macaruso, P., Palumbo, L. C., & Shankweiler, D. (2006). Syntactically cued text facilitates oral reading fluency in developing readers. Applied Psycholinguistics, 27, 423–445. LeVasseur V. M., Macaruso, P., & Shankweiler, D. (2008). Promoting gains in reading fluency: a comparison of three approaches. Reading and Writing, 21, 205–230. Mason, J. M., & Kendall, J. R. (1979). Facilitating reading comprehension through text structure manipulation. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 25, 68–76. Muter, P. (1996). Interface design and optimization of reading of continuous text. In van Oostendorp, H., and de Mul, S. (Eds.) Cognitive aspects of electronic text processing. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex. Negin, G. A. (1987). The effects of syntactic segmentation on reading comprehension of hearing impaired students. Reading Psychology: An International Quarterly, 8, 23–31. North, A. J., & Jenkins, L. B. (1951). Reading speed and comprehension as a function of typography. Journal of Applied Psychology, 35, 225–228. O’Shea, L. T., & Sindelar, P. T. (1983). The effects of segmenting written discourse on the reading comprehension of low- and high-performance readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 18, 458–465. Stevens, K. C. (1981). Chunking material as an aid to reading comprehension. Journal of Reading, 25, 126–129. Taylor, N. E., Wade, M. R., & Yekovich, F. R. (1985). The effects of text manipulation and multiple reading strategies on the reading performance of good and poor readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 566–574. Yu, C. H., & Miller, R. M. (2010). Enhancing web page readability for non-native readers. Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2523-2532 

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