Article

Towards a ‘Real Character’ for the Computer Age

Ian Maun 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1University of Exeter
Corresponding Author : Ian Maun, University of Exeter Graduate School of Education University of Exeter St. Luke’s Campus EXETER EX1 2LU United Kingdom. Phone: 01626-772114; Email: I.C.Maun@ex.ac.uk

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jan 30, 2013; Revised: Feb 25, 2013; Accepted: Mar 11, 2013

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017

Abstract

This paper deals with the theory of a ‘Real Character,’ that is to say, a form of writing which conveys ideas, rather than sounds, and the possible application of such a system to computer- mediated communication. The need for increasingly efficient international communication is noted and the idea of ‘iconicity’ is incorporated into the argument, together with the narrower idea of the ‘symbol’ as defined by the semiotician Charles Sanders Peirce. Historical antecedents from the seventeenth century onwards are examined, as are present-day artificial languages. Modern research into semantic primes is linked to work on visual primes. The notion of ‘the sentence-as-character,’ is proposed, a format which dispenses with the need for linear syntax. The question of metaphorical meaning is discussed in the light of theories of embodiment. In order to facilitate speedy reading, on-screen Rapid Serial Visual Presentation of texts with animation, colour and 3-D is proposed. Technological issues of computer implementation and further development are raised, ways forward are examined, and cultural and linguistic problems tabled for further consideration.

Keywords: character; icon; pasigraphy; prime; syntax

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