"The Nonsensesnakebat's Poem": Translating "Jabberwocky" into Blissymbolics

Michael Everson, Annalu Waller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Blissymbolics is unique in comparison to other AAC graphic systems in that it is a cons tructed language which was originally devised as a utopian auxiliary language to facilitate commerce. Proving that a language is a language is not something that is done very often, apart from investigations into communication systems used by bees, dolphin s, and primates. This presentation will demonstrate that Bliss is a rich, flexible language and a means for thought and communication, by introducing the work being done to encode Bliss in the Unicode Standard, the international standard for multilingual t ext interchange. A recent translation of Lewis Carroll's famous nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" into Bliss will illustrate the robustness of Bliss as a medium for the expression of concepts, because Bliss has no phonology and all of its vocabulary is construct ed out of concepts or sequences of concepts. Although most translations of “Jabberwocky” deal with its nonsense words at least in part according to their sounds, a translation into Bliss has to take a different path to solving this issue. Encoding Bliss in the Unicode Standard will enable end express concepts which are not hard-- users of Bliss to write Bliss to coded to their Bliss board or other devices. Prototype interfaces have been developed which help to demonstrate how a Blissymbolics font can be used by users of assistive technology inputs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCM2022 Communication Matters International AAC Conference
PublisherCommunication Matters
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2022
EventCommunication Matters International AAC Conference 2022
- Leeds University, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Sept 202213 Sept 2022


ConferenceCommunication Matters International AAC Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleCM2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Assistive technology
  • Blissymbolics


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