Interpretation and Construction of Meaning of Bliss-words in Children (short summary)


During a brief teaching session a group of 43 typically developing children aged between 3 and 8 were asked to interpret 15 Bliss-characters and 12 Bliss-words made up of combinations of the chosen characters. After teaching, the participants again interpreted the meaning of the Bliss-words. The Bliss-characters and Bliss-words elicited linguistic strategies that were like those found in typical vocabulary development. There were age differences in the amount of information being retained after teaching, with children over the age of 5 retaining most of the Bliss-characters and words but younger children less so.

The children were also asked to give suggested meanings for previously unseen Bliss-words and to construct their own new Bliss-words by combining the characters. These showed that they had understood the idea of combining characters into new words or ideas, but they generally explained the word with a sentence related to their own experience.

It is concluded that Blissymbolics could be used more effectively than pictographic symbols in education, as by learning the separate Bliss-characters it is possible to create and communicate new concepts for which the symbol is not known.

Things you may want to look into:

Blissymbolics (UK)

Translucency Ratings of Blissymbols over Repeated Exposures by Children with Autism

Iconicity in the Development of Picture skills: Typical Development and Implications for Individuals with Severe Intellectual Disabilities

Added to site Dec 2015