Graduate thesis (2020),
MFA Communications Design,
Pratt Institute

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How can shifts in context and form enlarge the scope of communication?


Language glass | Concept | Context | Metaphor | Fidelity | Resolution | Reconstruction | Fragmentation | Interpretation | Conversion | Social/cultural construction | Literacy |
Cultural literacy | non-linguistic language


Language glass

A “language glass” is what Guy Deutscher calls a “perception.”
Every person who speaks his/her own language wears a pair of “language glasses.”
The glasses affect how we shape our idea and how we perceive others.


The Oxford dictionaries defines this term,
An abstract idea.
A plan or intention.
An idea or invention to help sell or publicize a commodity.
as modifier (of a car or other vehicle) produced as an experimental model to test the viability of innovative design features.
-Philosophy- An idea or mental image which corresponds to some distinct entity or class of entities, or to its essential features, or determines the application of a term (especially a predicate), and thus plays a part in the use of reason or language.
From this definition, a “concept” is defined as a deliverable message with intention, that contains abstract idea.


The Oxford dictionaries defines this term,
The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.
The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.[synonyms] circumstances, conditions, surroundings, factors, state of affairs, frame of reference, contextual relationship
From this definition, a “context” is defined as a space that implies the concept. Most of the time, that is structured upon a certain time, space, cultural and social structure, and a specific environment.


Milan Kundera writes that a metaphorical imagination is used to understand, to grasp the meaning of actions, the meaning of the situations in which they find themselves, and which are often the core value of an explanation of an idea/content.
From this idea, a “metaphor” is a tool or key to understanding the concept or content.


The relevant definition from the Oxford Dictionaries defines this term are as below,
-Chemistry- [mass noun] The process of reducing or separating something into constituent parts or components.
-physics- The replacing of a single force or other vector quantity by two or more jointly equivalent to it.
The smallest interval measurable by a telescope or other scientific instrument; the resolving power.
[mass noun] The degree of detail visible in a photographic or television image. E.g., ‘a high-resolution monitor’
[mass noun] The conversion of something abstract into another form. E.g., ‘the gradual resolution of an uncertain feeling into a named emotion’
[Prosody] The substitution of two short syllables for one long one.
From this definition, “resolution” refers to a viewpoint of a process in reducing/separating the contextual components, and the degree of understanding the detail of the concept/context.


The Oxford Dictionaries defines this term,
Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.
Sexual faithfulness to a spouse or partner.
The degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced.
The second definition is what this thesis concerns — the validation of the outcome that went through a translation process. This thesis conceders that the fidelity of translated pieces is the nuance that appears along with the context.


The relevant definition from the Oxford Dictionaries defines this term are as below:
[mass noun] The action or process of reconstructing or being reconstructed.
[count noun] A thing that has been rebuilt after being damaged or destroyed.
[count noun] An impression, model, or re-enactment of a past event formed from the available evidence.
The reconstruction phase in a translation process includes; Decoding, organizing, understanding, and cultivating the concept or context.


The Oxford Dictionaries defines this term,
The process or state of breaking or being broken into fragments.
[computing] The storing of a file in several separate areas of memory scattered throughout a hard disk.
In this thesis, fragmentation refers to the phenomenon of concepts or meaning getting distorted and torn apart into pieces by a translation process.


The relevant definition from the Oxford Dictionaries defines this term are as below:
The process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another.
The adaptation of a building or part of a building for a new use.
[British/count noun] A building that has been adapted for a new use.
[Law] The changing of real property into personalty, or of joint into separate property, or vice versa.
[Logic] The transposition of the subject and predicate of a proposition according to certain rules to form a new proposition by inference.
Through the definition above and my past research, a “conversion” is an adapting action of a concept onto another environment/context without changing the meaning/value.


The Oxford Dictionaries defines this term,
The action of explaining the meaning of something.
[count noun] An explanation or way of explaining.
[count noun] A stylistic representation of a creative work or dramatic role.
An “interpretation” is one of the actions under the translation process along with explaining aspect towards the idea or content.

Social/cultural construction

The Oxford Dictionaries briefly states, “social construction(SC) assumes that people construct (i.e., create, make, invent) their understandings of the world and the meanings they give to encounters with others, or various products they or others create; SC also assumes that they do this jointly, in coordination with others, rather than individually. […] ”
Robert Daland, Ph.D. from Northwestern University(2018), answers that a cultural construction is a “an entity or relation that does not follow automatically from biology/chemistry/physics/statistics/ psychology per se, but instead represents a shared understanding or practice among a set of people.”
From these definitions, a social/cultural construction is an invention build upon their understandings within a specific society or a shared cultural background.


The Oxford Dictionaries defines “literacy,”
The ability to read and write.
Competence or knowledge in a specified area.
From these definition, a “literacy” which this thesis refers to is defined as an ability of understanding the concept within a certain context.

Cultural literacy

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “cultural literacy,”
The ability to analyze and understand a particular society or culture; familiarity with the customs and characteristics of a culture.

Non-linguistic language

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “linguistic”
Relating to language or linguistics. ‘a child’s linguistic ability’
This thesis states that a “non-linguistic” is a communication tool that is dependent on verbal and written language.