The Comparative Translucency of Initial Lexical Items Represented in Five Graphic Symbol Systems and Sets The comparative translucency within and across five aided augmentative and alternative symbol systems or sets (Blissymbols, Picsyms, PIC, PCS, and Rebus) for symbols representing three parts of speech (nouns, verbs, and modifiers) was investigated. A sample of 41 items representing an initial lexicon was rated by undergraduate college students on ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1990
The Comparative Translucency of Initial Lexical Items Represented in Five Graphic Symbol Systems and Sets
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen Bloomberg
    Severe Communication Impairment Outreach Project, Spastic Society of Victoria, Australia
  • George R. Karlan
    Special Education, Purdue University
  • Lyle L. Lloyd
    Special Education, Purdue University
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to George R. Karlan, Special Education, SCC-E, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1990
The Comparative Translucency of Initial Lexical Items Represented in Five Graphic Symbol Systems and Sets
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1990, Vol. 33, 717-725. doi:10.1044/jshr.3304.717
History: Received July 25, 1988 , Accepted April 24, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1990, Vol. 33, 717-725. doi:10.1044/jshr.3304.717
History: Received July 25, 1988; Accepted April 24, 1990

The comparative translucency within and across five aided augmentative and alternative symbol systems or sets (Blissymbols, Picsyms, PIC, PCS, and Rebus) for symbols representing three parts of speech (nouns, verbs, and modifiers) was investigated. A sample of 41 items representing an initial lexicon was rated by undergraduate college students on a 7-point scale of iconicity. Results indicate that translucency varies among systems or sets and among parts of speech. Rebus and PCS were the most translucent overall; however, a number of Blissymbolics, Picsyms, and PIC symbols were also rated as highly translucent. Caution is indicated in extrapolating results to young or retarded learners because of the influence of normal adult knowledge and experience on translucency ratings. Care must also be taken in extrapolating to more advanced lexicons containing larger, more developmentally advanced vocabularies.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was conducted as partial fulfillment of the M.S. degree at Purdue University by the first author under the direction of the other two authors. Portions of the paper were presented at the 1984 annual conference of the American Association on Mental Deficiency in Minneapolis and the 1985 annual conference of the Australian Association of Speech and Hearing, Melbourne, Australia. The authors gratefully acknowledge the many helpful comments and suggestions provided by Jane Doherty on an earlier draft of the paper and acknowledge the comments of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Reserach Group at Purdue University. This research was partially supported by a grant from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, United States Department of Education (G008300868); the contents, however, do not necessarily represent the policy of that agency and endorsement by the federal government is not to be assumed.
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