University of Calgary
The invented spellings of pre-schoolers first described and analyzed by Read (1971) are significant in more than one respect. First, they are completely spontaneous and entirely free from the effects of instruction. The children who produce invented spellings know the names of the conventional symbols and how to form them, but they have virtually no direct knowledge of any conventional sound-grapheme correspondences and cannot read. Second, the spellings do not vary qualitatively from child to child. Thirdly, as previously mentioned, these children have not yet learned to read (hence the use of the term 'preliterate').
Linguistics, Language and languages--Orthography and spelling, Language acquisition, English language
Gibbons, D. E. (1983). Graphic competence. Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 9(Summer), 25-62.