Title page for ETD etd-10232007-115133

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Du Preez, Anna Elizabeth
URN etd-10232007-115133
Document Title The translucency values of Blissymbols as rated by typically developing Setswana learners
Degree M (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)
Department Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Advisor Name Title
Prof J Bornman
  • Setswana language
  • symbol systems
  • iconicity
  • repeated exposure
  • translation process
  • learnability
  • translucency
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • cultural issues
  • Blissymbols
  • comparative studies
Date 2006-11-19
Availability unrestricted
Cross-cultural differences in the perception of pictorial material has long been established and documented. In the Republic of South Africa, which is increasingly globalized, and where it is appealing from financial, economic and training perspectives, the temptation is to use Western-based AAC symbol systems and strategies in intervention with clients from other language and cultural orientations.

The aim of this study was to determine the translucency ratings of specific Blissymbols as rated by six-to seven-year-old Setswana-speaking children. A secondary aim was to determine whether the ratings changed after second and third exposures in order to determine the learnability of these symbols. A brief comparison was made between the results of the current study and the results reported in the Quist et al., study (1998).

Thirty-five Setswana learners were exposed to 93 selected Blissymbols, based on a study by Quist et al., (1998). A three-point semantic differential scale, consisting of three faces accompanied each Blissymbol. Participants marked the face that best described his/her perception of the specific symbolís iconicity. This procedure was repeated over a period of three days. The results indicated that the translucency ratings of the majority of the Blissymbols ranged from moderate to high. The research further demonstrated significant differences in translucency ratings between the first and second exposures, suggesting learning of the symbols. A smaller difference was noted between Days 2 and 3. A correlation in findings was noted between the current study and the Dutch and US studies (Quist et al., 1998).

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