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A cloud is water in the sky. Blissymbolics: A tool for teaching words and meanings

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Blissymbolics is a graphic language. Since the early 1970s it has been used worldwide as AAC. As a graphic AAC Blissymbolics differs from imaging systems in that Blissymbolics is a concept based system. A Bliss-word is built of Bliss-characters which each have a semantic meaning. The combination of Bliss-characters determines the meaning of a Bliss-word. Some Bliss-characters are pictographs others are ideographs. The shapes of the Bliss-characters are very simple and neutral which makes it possible to combine characters to express new bliss-words representing other concepts. With the logical representation of concepts in Bliss-words the Bliss vocabulary can be used as an educational tool to explain and teach difficult meanings of words.
This presentation will give examples in a number of short Bliss-lessons on how vocabulary at all stages of language development, from early childhood to adult can be discussed and explained with the use of Bliss-words. It will also show how meanings of Bliss-words can be derived with the help of the included Bliss-characters. The examples will demonstrate how the logical structure of the Bliss-words also reveals how concepts are related to each other and how they differ.
It will be taught how individuals can make new Bliss-words themselves, and how preschool children managed such tasks.
No knowledge about Blissymbolics is needed in advance. The presentation will serve as an introduction to the core features of the Bliss-language.


Margareta Jennische    
Uppsala University


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