preliterate

[pree-lit-er-it]
adjective Anthropology.
1.
lacking a written language; nonliterate: a preliterate culture.
2.
occurring before the development or use of writing.

Origin:
1920–25; pre- + literate

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World English Dictionary
preliterate (priːˈlɪtərɪt)
 
adj
relating to a society that has not developed a written language
 
preliteracy
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
There is no real evidence to suggest that recognition of shapes is a good or necessary exercise for preliterate adults.
Researchers have observed, again by studying contemporary preliterate people, that bands become inefficient when they grow large.
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