Visual Iconic Language. A Framework for Visual Iconic Languages

title: Visual Iconic Language. A Framework for Visual Iconic Languages
author: Anne C. van Rossum
published in: June 2006
appeared as: Master of Science thesis
Man-machine interaction group
Delft University of Technology
PDF (6130 KB)


A visual iconic language uses sentences of concatenated icons to communicate. Certain combinations of icons are prescribed or prohibited. These restrictions form a grammar. In previous created visual languages case grammar theory by Fillmore and conceptual dependency theory by Schank are used. A grammar profits from formulations of its rules in the sense of icon categories or types. This leads to an ontology particular aimed to use icons instead of words as its basic building blocks. In this thesis such an ontology, called an Iconology, is modelled. A demonstrator of this model is provided by the framework VilAug. Besides being an iconology stores the framework VilAug several visual languages and grammars. It also provides a graphical environment to actually create and alter visual languages and grammars. This environment is called IconNet, and comparable to a graphical WordNet environment. An additional user application, IconMessenger, is embedded in the form of an instant messenger that uses messages made of icons. The entire software package is a proof of concept in regard to the ontology and demonstrates that a new discipline of visual linguistics can be exploited in knowledge representation.

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