Japanese Version................. Image-Based Dictionary ..................TOP
In exercises for aphasics, images are inevitably used instead of words (pronunciations/ spellings). Thus, one of the most important steps in creating aphasic rehab exercises and communication aids is to construct an image-based dictionary that is as full-fledged as our knowlege of a natural language like English and Japanese.

Images at stake should be easily distinguishable from one another but, rather contradictorily, be provided with as little specific information as possible. In particular, the image for 'book' should be distinguishable from the one for "magazine," but it should not be associated with any particular book. As for verbs and adjectives, the problem is far more difficult. You can probably make an image of someone reading a book, but it is hard to describe just the reading action itself. Surely, animation gifs are helpful in making better images corresponding to most verbs and adjectives. Ideally, the images should be available for free to those who need them.

Function words like articles, prepositions and the infinitive marker (to) need to be paid careful attention, too. Since they are limited in number and language-specific in contrast to largely universal content words, they can be associated with specific abstract images.

Many people all over the world volunteer their time making exercises for aphasic rehabilitations in the form of PDF files and publicizing them on the Internet, but the images used in them fail to possess some of the above properties. For example, Kazumi Hatasa of Purdue University and his team have tackled on the difficult task of describing verbs and adjetives in black-and-white image files and made them availabe at Royalty-Free Clip Art Collection for Foreign/Second Language Instruction. Some of the images, however, contain too much specific information and they are all static images. More promissing is to use so-called pictograms, which are simplified and visually-enhanced pictures. poftware for communication aid has been developed based on pictograms, and they will be compared below. For more information, visit Pictocom International. A less feasible but probably more amusing approach would be to use hieroglyphs instead of images. Tompa characters used in the Yun Nan province of China are said to be the only existing hieroglyphs in the world now. The Tompa characters have attracted much attention in Japan ( e.g. here) and you can read in English, Katsumi Asaba's interview on Tomba by Ken Sakamura. Tompa characters, especially those for verbs and adjectives, appear to be usable for aphasic rehab exercises if they are converted appropriariately into animation GIFs. A nice collection of jpeg files is available here under the specified condition.
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