Visible Language

Online ISSN: 0022-2224
Publications
Article
Attempts to integrate a variety of research on the perceptual aspects of reading, including articles by S. F. Ehrlich (see PA, Vol 68:10071 and M. Coltheart (PA, Vol 68:9559). It is suggested that work with reading disorders will provide useful information for generating and testing models for reading and will stimulate research with both dyslexics and normal readers. (2½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Many investigators concerned with developing theoretical models of reading start from the assumption that the information-processing system used to accomplish the task of reading consists of a number of subcomponents, each responsible for performing a specific information-processing job. If this assumption is correct and if the subcomponents are anatomically as well as functionally separate, then a multicomponent model of reading can be tested by observing the different forms that acquired reading disorder takes as a consequence of different patterns of damage to the brain. The model can also be used to provide economical interpretations of various forms of acquired reading disorder. These possibilities are illustrated with reference to 5 forms of acquired reading disorder (letter-by-letter reading, phonological dyslexia, an unnamed dyslexia, surface dyslexia, and deep dyslexia). The symptoms of each disorder are described, and an assessment is made of the success with which each disorder can be explained within the theoretical framework provided by a version of the logogen model. (2½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the effects on oculomotor behavior of variations of physical attributes of text, both typographical and psychophysical parameters, and similar effects from physical (visual as opposed to semantic) word cues processed in the reader's parafoveal vision. It is concluded that the reliability of such effects underscores the primary nature of visual discrimination in reading and that sets of data generated from typographically different stimuli suffer from serious confounding effects. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examined the principal arrangements of information on the page and considers what is known about the pickup process. One source of information is the arrangements of the print on the page. These arrangements supply information about word, sentence, and paragraph boundaries and even substantial syntactic and semantic information. Evidence is reviewed to show that reading performance suffers when these conventional arrangements are violated. The second source is from the letter shapes alone, in which most work has been done using a feature description. While 4 procedures for generating features are reviewed, none meet adequate tests of validity, or supply convincing evidence that readers actually use feature tests to identify letters. The final source concerns higher order visual information (i.e., configuration of groups of letters in a word or the shape of the word itself). Evidence is reviewed to show that such information is substantial, especially for some types of words, and that if pushed, readers can use that information to identify words and to comprehend text. (2 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examines the philosophical and historical context in which Otto Neurath (1882-1945) worked. Examines critically (in the light of descriptive statistics) the principles of his Isotype Picture Language. Tests Neurath's personal credibility and scientific integrity by looking at his contributions to Soviet propaganda in the early 1930s. (SR)
 
Article
Examines the relationship of concrete poetry to "abstract" poetry (so labeled because its circular semantic play interferes with the image-forming aspect of representation). Analyzes the interrelations of these two types of poetry in the context of a poetic tradition centered in France. Asserts that both types aim to eradicate differences between the world and the text. (MM)
 
Article
Finds layout of a list affects the way it is read and understood; recall for separately arranged lists in text was better than that for continuously arranged lists, and notes a difference in reading patterns between the two layouts; and a separated list allowed readers to reread the points selectively, while a continuous list made readers reread the text sequentially. (SR)
 
Article
Shows that, through the use of a digital computer, pen movements may provide information for the investigation of motor control in the self-paced movements involved in handwriting. Describes the apparatus used, indicates the kinds of information that may be obtained, and discusses practical applications, including applications for instruction. (GT)
 
Article
Examines British fanzines as one form of subcultural communication that embraces specific visual and textual languages, often appropriating elements from mainstream cultural and media sources. Charts the growth of fanzine production over the last 20 years and analyzes the productive effects of fanzines on both the audiences they address and the mainstream media they influence. (SR)
 
Article
Examines two versions of the alphabet to show how psychological evidence indicates that grammar is best which best approximates the system people have in their heads. (RB)
 
Article
This study chronicles the process in which a young child teaches herself to write the letters of the alphabet. (HOD)
 
Article
This paper examines the prominence of written English on shop signs in Japan. Based on data from a larger empirical study into multilingual signs in Tokyo, the most common ways of using English and the roman alphabet on Japanese shops signs are identified. It is argued that the ambivalent nature of English loan words plays a key role in the ever growing visibility of English in Japanese public spaces. Focusing on one special type of sign--price lists outside hairdressers'--how the use of English loan words entail the general use of English and the Roman alphabet is shown, which in the long run results in signs completely functioning in English. (Contains 5 tables, 4 figures and 4 endnotes.)
 
Article
Human interactions are multimodal in nature. From simple to complex forms of transferal of information, human beings draw on a multiplicity of communicative modes, such as intonation and gaze, to make sense of everyday experiences. Likewise, the learning process, either within traditional classrooms or Virtual Learning Environments, is shaped by learners' perceptions of what is being communicated multimodally to them intentionally or not, and by the perceptible pedagogical affordances of the environment. This paper examines the specific place of action and multimodal interaction within the learning process. It starts by defining learning and multimodal interaction. Next, it expands on an existing methodological framework for analyzing multimodal interaction in order to include affordances for learning and to visually map the central role of action to learning. Finally, it makes use of the reviewed methodological framework to analyze a video ethnographic study of interactions that take place within a graduate Design classroom.
 
Article
Proposes a two-phase evaluation of the plain language laws that are designed to ensure that consumers can understand and use the personal business contracts they sign so that the best model for plain language legislation can be identified. (DF)
 
Article
The following paper assesses the roles played by semiotics in graphic design and in graphic design education, which both reflects and shapes practice. It identifies a series of factors; graphic design education methods and culture; semiotic theories themselves and their application to graphic design; the two wings of Peircian semiotics and Saussurian semiology and their incompatibilities; semiology's linguocentrism, its affinity to cultural criticism and its seminal role in cultural and social anthropology, structuralism, poststructuralism and deconstruction. It examines the uses and criticisms of semiotics and semiology in design, their use in graphic design education, and their operationalization within technical communication and human factors as paths that might be applied to graphic design. (Contains 5 figures.)
 
Article
States that the transition from book to screen requires analytical comparison, and that the structure of the book cannot be translated to the screen without consideration of new spatial practices afforded by hypermedia "architexture." Discusses similarities between digital and printed documents and the implications for the digital document as a textscape. (PA)
 
Article
Reviews the nature of apprenticeship in non-writing contexts. Describes, distinguishes, and illustrates the apprenticeship, traditional, and process approaches to writing instruction. Surveys evidence that apprenticeship provides the best model; highlights some practical applications of this model to writing instruction. Concludes that it assimilates the best features of traditional and process instruction while avoiding most of their pitfalls. (PA)
 
Article
Notes that Jules Kirschenbaum, a modern American artist whose work integrates inscriptions and figurative painting, studied under the masters of abstract expressionism yet exhibited with protagonists of "magic realism." States that his later work took a wholly different turn--it became art about meaning and the "meaning of meaning." (RS)
 
Article
All right, B. J cut. From now on we run a good clean show. A show you can take your kids and your grandmother to see it Just good clean magic for all the family.
 
Article
Identifies two major groups of pseudoinscriptions: distinguished inscriptions which do not convey text but appear to be real things; and proper pseudoinscriptions which may have clearly delineated individual letters that taken together make no sense. Identifies Venice and the Netherlands as centers of Arabic and Hebrew pseudoinscriptions in the Renaissance. (RS)
 
Article
Notes that those teachers and scholars who are known as the "new rhetoricians" are divided on assumptions about the nature of rhetorical art, with some holding a vitalist theory of art and composing and others holding a technical theory. (HOD)
 
Article
Examines societies in which varieties and degrees of literacy are possible or ordinary, such as Japan and Korea. Finds that these societies have separate but functionally interrelated writing systems, used for communicatively disparate purposes, differential mastery of which, consequently, has social and economic repercussions. Finds that different literacies entail different social and cognitive consequences. (PRA)
 
Article
Reviews research pertaining to metalinguistic awareness in young children; examines issues related to the direction of cause between metalinguistic abilities and reading, disparities in research methodology between studies, and commercial instruments perporting to measure metalinguistic knowledge; and offers implications for reading instruction and future research. (FL)
 
Article
Discusses the impact of writing on culture, especially the psychosocial consequences of literacy as a "technology of the intellect." Describes the role played by writing in both a slave revolt in nineteenth century Brazil and a preliterate African culture. Argues that "literacy" serves too many functions to be used as an all-encompassing descriptive term. (JD)
 
Article
Through a bilingual reading of Beckett's "Mal vu mal dit," the illusion of painted relief for printed letters is created. Colors manifest themselves through the continual process of translation. The French translation adds color to the black and white English text. (DF)
 
Article
Questions the notion that William Blake's epic poem "The Four Zoas" is simply a manuscript--it is a part of Blake's working through the problems of publication during the reign of a conservative, nationalistic government at war with France. Suggests that Blake's construction of the text makes the act of reading "both traitorous and insightful." (RS)
 
Article
Discusses an integrated theory of literacy development with synchrony between beginning stages of reading and spelling. Explores the reasons why beginning readers read disfluently, fingerpoint, and read aloud. Discusses orthographic correlates to these behaviors. Suggests that fluent reading must wait for a certain power in word knowledge. Presents pedagogical implications. (SR)
 
Article
It has been suggested that good readers make better use of semantic/syntactic information and use relatively less graphic information than do poor readers. To test these hypotheses, minor visual alterations were inserted in words in connected text. Fifteen good and 15 poor readers at the fourth-grade level read two of the altered Passages orally. Results indicated that the good readers read at a faster rate and made fewer miscalls in overall word identification than did the poor readers. However, there were no differences in the ratio of textually acceptable miscalls, and poor readers' responses to altered words seemed less bound to graphic cues than did those of the good readers. These comparisons do not support the initial hypotheses. (Author/AA)
 
Article
States that the application of cybertextual technologies to experimental poetics is the context for this brief exposition of machine modulated literary work. Raises issues crucial to the work described here--the role of (literary) text in cyberspace; silent reading in new visible language media; and the confusions of computer as medium. (PA)
 
Article
Contains a list of current references on handwriting instruction, mainly those published in the past twenty years. (RB)
 
Article
Presents an overview (from a broad cultural and historical perspective) of the effect of two languages and cultures on the creation of literature, the cosmopolitanism, and bilingualism of writers, and the effects of the related phenomena of biculturalism and diglossia on the production of literary texts. Shows that bilingualism has been a feature of intellectual life throughout history. (SR)
 
Article
Introduces a special issue of this journal devoted to bilingualism in texts. Explores the practice of bilingual writing in a wide variety of texts, with emphasis on the historical dimensions of the problem, on increased attention to actual texts and their various contexts, and on some of the details of the practice of bilingual writing. (SR)
 
Article
Criticizes an article in an earlier issue of this journal concerning Otto Neurath. Argues against the notion that Neurath was a communist and an agent of Soviet propaganda. Suggests that the previous article's dichotomy that graphic information is either hard science or pure art prevents an understanding of the subject. (RS)
 
Article
Preliminary theoretical explanations for visual analysis of stimuli are offered in terms of bilateral nervous systems, handedness and reading, and perceptual strategies. (RB)
 
Article
Examines an avant-garde illustrated book and suggests that "deviant" books urge a kind of reading that gives visibility to the text and seeks out relationships created between two volumes--the book and its words. (DF)
 
Article
The status of the book is changing, as is the make-up of the language-world'' we inhabit. The written word has become a caption for the visual and musical image. (Author)
 
Article
States that articles dealing with documents on demand tend to presume a static digital format such as a scanned page. Discusses a flexible document format subject to user specification based on particular reading needs or habits. Argues for digitally created masters which ensure access to old, rare, and out-of-print texts. (PA)
 
Article
Studies two examples of Harold Innis' social theory to show that he had a sophisticated ecological understanding of the many forces at work in social dynamics. Argues that Innis' concept of monopolies of knowledge involved freedom both in elite control of a dominant technology and popular resistance to this dominance. (JD)
 
Article
Reviews concepts of graphic design (where central concerns are aesthetics and popular notions of communication processes) to examine assumptions about the generation and location of meaning which underlie these frameworks. Proposes a cultural studies perspective as an alternative, in which the relationships between meaning production and cultural practices are accorded primary consideration. (SR)
 
Article
Describes the fundamentals of Japanese braille and outlines the spacing rules now in general use. Points out the relevance of Japanese braille for the computer treatment of the Japanese language. (FL)
 
Article
Analysis of similar shapes for high-frequency words does not verify the hypothesis that shape provides a useful learning cue for teaching word recognition. (RB)
 
Article
Reports conversations with children attending a New Zealand reading clinic that indicate that the maximum brightness contrast of black-on-white print was a strong contributing factor in the children's reading disabilities. (Author/GT)
 
Article
Examines English language pattern poetry from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Commonwealth countries, and the United States. (FL)
 
Article
This paper examines inclusive design delivery through interface design, with a particular focus on access to healthcare resources for seniors. The goal of the project was to examine how seniors are able to access drug information using two different online systems. In the existing retrieval system, pills are identified using a standard search interface. In the new browsing prototype, all of the pill images appear on a single screen, where the user identifies images by clustering the pills displayed by choosing similarity criteria related to the database search terms (e.g., all white pills or all pills of a certain size). The feedback mechanism in this interface involves re-organization of the pill images that are already visible to the user. We used a qualitative, task-based verbal analysis protocol with 12 participants aged 65 and older who were asked to locate pill images in each database and to discuss their preferences for navigation, aesthetics, and the results that appear on the screen. By assessing the features of both interfaces, the results suggest possible models that could be applied in meeting seniors' information retrieval needs. "As the general population ages (and as life expectancy rates increase), seniors are increasingly faced with complicated medical regimes". Sorting pills, to ensure that certain medications are taken at particular times of the day with or without meals, can be a daunting task for many patients, yet this task is a vital part of personal health management. As individuals age, visual and/or motor impairments make sorting, holding and identifying pills a challenge. Designing effective reference materials--including websites--can aid in patients' and caregivers' awareness and recognition of the range of available medications and help them to locate valuable drug information (e.g., side effects). This project was designed to explore the viability of a prototype, a visually based interface that would meet seniors' specific searching and retrieval needs. This empirical study addresses a theoretical issue raised by Ruecker and Chow (2003), which called for further research into the use of browsing strategies in interfaces for seniors accessing health information of various kinds. Qualitative interviews were used to explore participants' general information searching strategies, and computer tasks (employing a verbal analysis protocol) were used to assess two interfaces--including a prototype that was designed to bridge the physical (e.g., vision-related) and cognitive/emotional (e.g., issues of trust related to health information) needs of older adults. The goal of this project was to see if an alternative visual browsing interface, showing photographs of 1000 pills, could be useful for seniors interested in pill identification. Usefulness in this case involved a number of factors, ranging from the basic question of whether 1000 photos would simply be overwhelming, to concerns about the best methods for providing tools to manipulate the display, down to detailed questions about specific design choices relating to contrast, legibility and control size. The images could be magnified and also clustered by participants based on similarity in two visual dimensions: color and shape. (Contains 5 figures.)
 
Article
Examines how eighteenth-century critics treated the visual format of traditional verse as a determinant in readers' appreciation of form and meaning. Explores correspondences between eighteenth-century work and modern criticism. Argues that twentieth-century appreciations of the visual format of verse are limited by their concentration upon more extravagant typographic experiments of free verse. (MM)
 
Article
Notes changes in the visual organization of correspondence brought about by the typewriter. Discusses the development of these changes, drawing examples both from the prescriptions for and the practice of commercial correspondence. (FL)
 
Top-cited authors
Mary Clare Dyson
  • University of Reading
Hans-Leo Teulings
Linda Flower
  • Carnegie Mellon University
John Richard Hayes
  • Carnegie Mellon University
Andrew W. Ellis
  • The University of York