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The Language of Bliss
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dai



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject: The Language of Bliss Reply with quote

Just stopping for a coffee and I loved this story - on Radio 4 as I make notes : The Universal Language was an important project once for The Republicans in The World.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08y26qf

Charles Bliss was a remarkable utopian visionary, whose experiences as a young witness to the pogroms and then Dachau and Buchenwald made him determined to put all his effort into finding a means of bringing about peace between nations. His big inspiration was his belief that conflict arose when people misunderstood each other, or misinterpreted the other's language.

A new visual language based on ideograms would, he felt, prevent such misunderstanding - and he spent years both perfecting and then trying to sell his new system, which he named Semantography and which has become commonly known as Blissymbolics.

As Michael Symmons Roberts will explain, Bliss and his wife Claire sent thousands of letters to academics and librarians across the world without success, but then decades later his language was taken up in an entirely unexpected way - as a means of communicating with children with cerebral palsy. Sadly this apparent turn of good fortune did not lead to a happy ending, and Bliss died an apparently frustrated and lonely man.

Nonetheless, as Michael will explain, he was a great utopian visionary whose determined effort to change the world single-handedly might not have finally paid off, but he left a great legacy behind in his linguistic achievement and in the thousands whom he helped to communicate with the world. Michael meets one of those people, Peter Zein, as well as Shirley McNaughton, the nurse who was one of the key figures in applying Blissymbolics to special needs education, and Brian Stride, a personal friend and admirer of Bliss.

Presenter: Michael Symmons Roberts
Producer: Geoff Bird
Exec Producer: Jo Meek
A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4
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dai



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_K._Bliss


Bliss was born Karl Kasiel Blitz, the eldest of four children to Michel Anchel and Jeanette Blitz, in Chernivtsi in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (current Ukraine). The family were impoverished and the senior Blitz supported the family as an optician, mechanic, and wood turner. ... Later on Bliss said that the symbols on his father's circuit diagrams made instant sense to him. They were a "logical language". He was similarly impressed by chemical symbols, which he thought could be read by anyone, regardless of their mother tongue. ... Bliss graduated from the Vienna University of Technology as a chemical engineer in 1922. He joined Telefunken, a German television and radio apparatus company, and rose to be chief of the patent department. ... In Shanghai, Bliss became interested in Chinese characters, which he mistakenly thought were ideograms. He studied them and learned how to read shop signs and Chinese newspapers. With some astonishment, he one day realised that he had been reading the symbols off not in Chinese, but in his own language, German. With ideograms for his inspiration, Bliss set out to develop a system of writing by pictures. At that time Bliss had not become aware of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's "Universal Symbolism". ...

... Bliss and his wife migrated to Australia after the war, reaching Australia in July 1946. His semiotic ideas met with universal rejection. Bliss, without any Australian or Commonwealth qualifications had to work as a labourer to support his family. He worked on his system of symbols at night. Bliss and his wife became Australian citizens. ... Originally Bliss had called his system "World Writing" because the aim was to establish a series of symbols that would be understood by all, regardless of language. Bliss then decided an English-language name was too restricted and called the system Semantography. In Sydney in 1949 Bliss published the three-volume International Semantography: A non-alphabetical Symbol Writing readable in all languages. There was no great positive reaction. For the next four years Claire Bliss sent 6,000 letters to educators and universities, to no better effect. ... In 1965 Bliss published a second edition of his work, Semantography (Blissymbolics).

It was about this time that the increase in international tourism convinced many that only a pictorial symbol language could be understood by all. Bliss made sure his idea was attached to his name, hence Blissymbolics.

In 1971, Bliss learned that since 1965, a particular centre in Canada had been using his symbols to teach children with cerebral palsy to communicate. He was thrilled at first, but he became horrified when he learned that the center had extended his set of symbols and was using the symbols as a bridge to help the children learn to use spoken and written words in a traditional language, which were far from his vision for Blissymbolics. He badgered and eventually sued the center, at one time even threatening a nurse with imprisonment. After ten years of constant attacks from Bliss, the center came to a compromise with Bliss because it felt the publicity he drew to be bringing a bad name to the center. The world copyright for use of his symbols with handicapped children was licensed to the Blissymbolics Communication Foundation in Canada. ...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blissymbols

Blissymbols or Blissymbolics was conceived as an ideographic writing system called Semantography consisting of several hundred basic symbols, each representing a concept, which can be composed together to generate new symbols that represent new concepts. Blissymbols differ from most of the world's major writing systems in that the characters do not correspond at all to the sounds of any spoken language. ... Since the 1960s/1970s, Blissymbols have become popular as a method to teach disabled people to communicate. In 1971 Shirley McNaughton started a pioneer program at the Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre (OCCC), aimed at children with cerebral palsy, from the approach of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). ... In spite of this, in 1975 Bliss granted an exclusive world license, for use with disabled children, to the new Blissymbolics Communication Foundation directed by Shirley McNaughton (later called Blissymbolics Communication International, BCI). Nevertheless, in 1977 Bliss claimed that this agreement was violated so that he was deprived of effective control of his symbol system. ...

... Unlike similar constructed languages like a UI, Blissymbolics was conceived as a purely visual, speech-less language, on the premise that “interlinguistic communication is mainly carried on by reading and writing”. Nevertheless, Bliss suggested that a set of international words could be adopted, so that “a kind of spoken language could be established – as a travelling aid only”. (1965, p. 89–90). ... So, whether Blissymbolics constitutes an unspoken language is a controversial question, whatever its practical utility may be. Some linguists, such as John DeFrancis and J. Marshall Unger have argued that genuine ideographic writing systems with the same capacities as natural languages do not exist. It is not certain, however, that they have examined Blissymbols.

http://www.blissymbolics.org/index.php/about-blissymbolics

... The Blissymbolics language is currently composed of over 5,000 graphic symbols. Each symbol or Bliss-word is composed of one or more Bliss-characters which can be combined and recombined in endless ways to create new symbols. Bliss-words can be sequenced to form many types of sentences and express many grammatical capabilities. Simple shapes are used to keep the symbols easy and fast to draw and because both abstract and concrete levels of concepts can be represented, Blissymbolics can be applied both to children and adults and are appropriate for persons with a wide range of intellectual abilities.

Blissymbols are quick and easy to learn and can be used at a pre-reading level, but are sophisticated enough to allow expression of thoughts, ideas and feelings
can be expanded as ability grows

http://www.radiolab.org/story/257194-man-became-bliss/

[ THIS IS AN AUDIO CLIP OF A RADIO PROGRAMME ABOUT BLISS WHICH HAS A LINK TO THIS BOOK - ]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0812980891/radiolabbooks-20/

In the Land of Invented Languages: Adventures in Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius - Arika Okrent

ISBN-13: 978-0812980899, ISBN-10: 0812980891

Here is the captivating story of humankind’s enduring quest to build a better language—and overcome the curse of Babel. Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man’s attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, Loglan (not to be confused with Lojban), and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries. With intelligence and humor, Arika Okrent has written a truly original and enlightening book for all word freaks, grammar geeks, and plain old language lovers.

[ THAT HAD A LINK TO ]

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0143126466/ref=pd_aw_fbt_14_img_2/147-2829606-4856646?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=P4YP7QYD0ZJ5VNC8580M

The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building - David J Peterson

ISBN-13: 978-0143126461, ISBN-10: 0143126466

From master language creator David J. Peterson comes a creative guide to language construction for sci-fi and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers. Peterson offers a captivating overview of language creation, covering its history from Tolkien’s creations and Klingon to today’s thriving global community of conlangers. He provides the essential tools necessary for inventing and evolving new languages, using examples from a variety of languages including his own creations, punctuated with references to everything from Star Wars to Michael Jackson. Along the way, behind-the-scenes stories lift the curtain on how he built languages like Dothraki for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Shiväisith for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, and an included phrasebook will start fans speaking Peterson’s constructed languages. The Art of Language Invention is an inside look at a fascinating culture and an engaging entry into a flourishing art form—and it might be the most fun you’ll ever have with linguistics.

[ AND THAT WAS LINKED TO - ]

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/098447000X/ref=pd_aw_fbt_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YQHD30WV6ECFNV2V8M98

The Language Construction Kit - Mark Rosenfelder

ISBN-13: 978-0984470006, ISBN-10: 098447000X

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1478267534/ref=pd_aw_fbt_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZCH97M43XRMEBHE836MX

Advanced Language Construction - Mark Rosenfelder

ISBN-13: 978-1478267539, ISBN-10: 1478267534


Last edited by dai on Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:04 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5000 glyphs and rising. No wonder only lunatics can learn it.

Esperanto estos la lingvo de l' mondo!

But you will never understand that.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esperanto estus la lingvo de l' mondo.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:20 am    Post subject: esperanto Reply with quote

As an exponent of disability rights in these dark days of genocide I hope Mortiz is not conflating neurological illness in children with psychiatric illness. That's not very helpful just now.

But I have a feeling that the Bliss project was not helpful to these kids either, and that Bliss was just using them in an experiment with little concern for their welfare,like the king mentioned in Heredotus who sent babies in the care of a mute woman to a remote island, to discover what language they would speak.

He sounds extremely eccentric, and obviously pretty ego ridden. Otherwise, why would he be so angry with the nurse for introducing another method of communication to these poor kids?

He may have been on to something with the idea that conflict is caused by misunderstanding what others say, but he took it very literally. Isn't the problem that people are not speaking the same language figuratively, rather than literally?

Terry Minty invented a new dialect of Esperanto, which seems to be missing the point. Some former students from Aberystwyth put up a praise song to Moritz on the net describing him with partial accuracy as a Welsh speaking Jew with a London accent, who could also speak fluent Esperanto. For those of us who don't speak Esperanto, can he translate the phrase above?


Last edited by marianneh on Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esperanto estos la lingvo de l' mondo!

But you will never understand that.

I thought it was just Dai who refused to understand.

Esperanto = Esperanto
estos = shall be; estus = should be
la = the
lingvo = language
de = of
l' is short for la = the
mondo = world
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:23 pm    Post subject: bleeding obvious Reply with quote

Oh yeah, maybe it should have been obvious. Will you be in on Friday about 1 pm? I'm thinking of going to Taste Buds for lunch.
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dai



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are visiting Cardiff I would quite like to see you too.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: meet and greet Reply with quote

Shall we meet at Dafydd's at one? Perhaps you can tell him we are coming. I tried to phone him on the mobile yesterday. A woman's voice kept saying it was an incorrect number.Let's not go anywhere by car.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

En domo mia? Je unua horo?

Vi neniam komprendas mian responson.

Jes

Mi sughestas la Armojn de Plymouth, kaj porkon maldoman.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:46 pm    Post subject: que? Reply with quote

I think I understood most of that. Un o gloch dy ty di, te.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keyn.

Guesu la lingvon.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moritz wrote:
Keyn.

Guesu la lingvon.


All you remoaner snowflakes are gloating.

Mi so important
Mi ne parolas Esperanton

It proves how special you are.

Esperanto was deliberately designed to be easy to understand.
If you can't understand Esperanto, then CONGRATULATIONS you are the snowflake of all snowflakes. We bow down and worship you.

We WOULD worship you by sacrificing bread, but you are are a special snowflake and allergic to bread.

We WOULD worship you by sacrificing nuts and fruit, but you are are a special snowflake and allergic to nuts and fruit.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:53 pm    Post subject: gloat? que? Reply with quote

What has happened? What do we have to gloat about? Has Brexit been abolished? I'm not allergic to anything except possibly penicillin. I suppose the meaning of your cryptic words will become clear after I consult the BBC News Channel.


So how many languages can you speak, Moritz?
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presumably yet another nail in the coffin of escape.

Yet another proof that Brexit means Brexin.

There are so many, I forget which.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: allergy intolerance Reply with quote

I suppose I must apologise for Moritz's allergy bullying, or the site will be closed down.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ain't whingeing at real allergies.
I am whingeing at fashionists jumping on bandwagons and claiming to have fake allergies because they are so special.

There was a legal case. Mr Snowflake actually had peanut allergy, which is a real thing. But that's not good enough for Special Snowflake. Actually, I don't suffer a common peasant allergy like peanuts. I have that Nut allergy which is reserved for Gods like me. So they fed him peanuts, he dropped dead and earned a Darwin Award.

Humans have only started eating milk and peanuts recently. So those allergies are real and dangerous. We have eaten bread since 10.000 BC; we have eaten nuts and berries since 10,000,000 BC
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:59 am    Post subject: cheddar milk Reply with quote

Cheddar Man couldn't digest milk.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF
Cheddar is where cheese comes from.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:20 pm    Post subject: jonathan bryan can write Reply with quote

Jonathan Bryan had difficulties breathing in infancy. He could not speak at all until he was seven. He had much to say. He had to try to communicate with meaningful glances.

As his attempts to make contact with the outside world were unavailing, he turned inward and developed a rich internal world of the imagination. This all came about because his mother had problems during pregnancy which caused him to be born with cerebral palsy.

I think he may latterly have been able to speak with an eye controlled computer, and perhaps he can now verbalise meaningfully. He has written a book of great intellectual and emotional depth. It has been praised by Michael Morpurgo and Bear Grylls. He is still only twelve.

I think it's right that in his memoir, 'Eye Can Write', Jonathan expresses warmth and love for his mother and other relatives. If it is right that they have believed in him all these years, it is not because they were given any encouragement to do so by doctors they consulted when he was a baby.

He was wrongly diagnosed as severely subnormal. If his parents had been less perceptive, they would have written him off as an empty vessel, and his talent and literary gifts would have been lost to the world.

I read of a girl in a similar situation. She may have been about five years old when her parents were given an electronic pad thingy that would, they hoped, enable her to communicate.

The first question she asked was, ''Why don't you speak to me?'' They had made no attempt to communicate with her before. They had somehow assumed that as she could not speak, she could not understand what was said to her.

When I was first surfing the net for inspiration on disability issues, I came across a blog by woman who had many interesting things to say. When you read the words on the screen, you saw she was a fluent communicator.

But she found it hard or impossible to get the words out of her mouth. This was because she had cerebral palsy. She had been described by doctors or nurses as 'non verbal', implying that she had nothing to communicate. This was unhelpful to say the least. I felt a surge of anger against these crass idiots.
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