What are the earliest sources that confirm or contradict the assertion that recitation of Torah Shebiksav fulfills the obligation to study Torah even without understanding of the words?
Preferred: Halachic sources not kabbalistic sources.
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A fairly early source is Rabbeinu Bachaye in Kad Hakemach, but he indicates that the idea predates him: כבר ידוע דקריאת התורה מצווה גדולה היא אע"פ שלא מבין מה שקורה (this is on the entry for "Torah"). While one might argue that a 'mitzvah gedolah' is not necessarily 'mitzvas talmud torah', it's at least a strong indicator for early sources to such as idea.
Additionally, the Maharal (Gevuros Hashem ch. 62) says that one can even make a bracha on learning without understanding, and perhaps he would differentiate between the written and oral Torah in this regard.
At the end of Moreh Nevuchim 3:51, the Rambam presents the level one should aspire to in divine service, in which he trains himself to do more than the minimum--one should learn to focus on not only the first pasuk of Shema and the first blessing of Shemoneh Esrei, but throughout. The clear implication is that although one fulfills the mitzvah of Shema and Shemoneh Esrei with kavvanah for the first pasuk and first berachah respectively, the Rambam is discussing the level beyond what is strictly required. If so, when the Rambam continues,
״וכאשר יצלח בידך הדבר ויתחזק במשך שנים, הנהג עצמך אחרי כן שתהא כל זמן שקראת בתורה או שמעת אותה, לא תחדל בכל ישותך ובכל מחשבתך מלהתרכז בהבנת מה שאתה שומע או קורא״
it would seem that here as well the Rambam distinguishes between the basic fulfillment which does not require understanding what one is reading, and the higher level of kavvanah which one should strive to attain. See also the Rambam's continuation, in which he applies this to Nevi'im as well:
וכאשר יעלה בידך זה במשך זמן, תרגיל את עצמך שתהא מחשבתך תמיד שלמה בכל מה שאתה קורא משאר דברי הנביאים, ואפילו בכל הברכות, תתכוון בו להבין מה שאתה מבטא ולהתבונן בעניינו
As for sources that contradict this notion, see Turei Even Rosh Hashana 28b who explains the Gemara in Berakhot 13a to mean that reading without understanding serves no purpose; the same interpretation is given by the Tzlach in Berakhot as well as the Nachalat David in Berakhot (citing R. Menashe of Ilya). The Magen Avraham in Orach Chaim 50 also implies that there is no fulfillment of Torah study without understanding what one is saying. This also seems to be the position of R. Chaim Soloveitchik in a letter printed at the beginning of Torat Chaim al ha-Torah. See note 10 in this article.
Shulchan Aruch Harav (18th century) quoted here writes that one does. Further support (although not proof) can be adduced for this from a responsum of Maimonides (P'er HaDor 104) in which he makes the unqualified statement that even to read a single verse of the Torah one must recite the blessing for Torah. Furthermore, he continues and writes that this would be the case even if the verses were recited in the context of prayer, rather than study. This might imply that the blessing, and by extension, the mitzva is related to reading the words themselves; not appreciating their contents.