Three papers appeared in the 19th century describing the dissociation between speech and writing: Marce (1856), Ogle (1867) and Pitres (1884). An account of the convincing evidence of dissociations put forward in these papers is presented. Three explanations are proposed as to the reason why the observations reported by these authors were overlooked or rejected by their contemporaries, namely: (a) in the first half of the century it seems that very little knowledge of the processes underlying writing (as opposed to speech) was available, (b) the debates focussed on the independence of speech versus motor control and language versus the intellect, (c) parallelisms between phylogeny, ontogeny and aphasia impeded the application of the principle of double dissociations, including the dissociations between speech and writing. It is argued that this phenomenon in the history of aphasia is best captured by the concept of prematurity in scientific discovery proposed by Stent (1972, 2003)
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