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NIGHT WRITING, a.k.a. SONOGRAPHY, was a system of code that used symbols of twelve dots arranged as two columns of six dots embossed on a square of paperboard , and is now remembered as the forerunner of Braille
Braille
. It was designed in 1808 by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon
Napoleon
's demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night. Called sonography, each grid of dots stands for a character or phoneme .

Barbier's system was related to the Polybius square , in which a two-digit code represents a character. In Barbier's variant, a 6×6 matrix includes most of the characters of the French alphabet, as well as several digraphs and trigraphs:

Barbier's Night Writing matrix

1 2 3 4 5 6

1 a i o u é è

2 an in on un eu ou

3 b d g j v z

4 p t q ch f s

5 l m n r gn ll

6 oi oin ian ien ion ieu

A character (or digraph or trigraph) was represented by two axes of dots, in which the first column had one to six dots denoting the row in the matrix, and the second had one to six dots denoting the column: e.g., 4–2 for "t" represented by

The letter ⟨t⟩ • •

• •

As many as twelve dots (two columns of 6) would be needed to represent one symbol.

Barbier's system was found to be too difficult for soldiers to learn and was rejected by the military. In 1821, Barbier visited the National Institute for the Blind in Paris
Paris
, France
France
, where he met Louis Braille
Braille
. Braille
Braille
identified the major failing of the code, which was that the human finger could not encompass the whole symbol without moving and so could not move rapidly from one symbol to another.

His modification was to use a 6-dot cell , the Braille
Braille
system that revolutionized written communication for the visually impaired.

REFERENCES

* ^ https://books.google.nl/books?id=9d564oD2Uf4C&lpg=PA212&dq=Charles%20Barbier%20de%20La%20Serre&hl=nl&pg=PA212#v=onepage&q=points;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

* t * e

Braille
Braille
⠃⠗⠁⠊⠇⠇⠑

BRAILLE CELL

* 1829 braille * International uniformity * ASCII braille * Unicode braille patterns

BRAILLE SCRIPTS

French-ordered scripts (see for more)

* Albanian * Amharic * Arabic * Armenian * Azerbaijani * Belarusian

* Bharati

* Devanagari (Hindi / Marathi / Nepali) * Bengali * Punjabi * Sinhalese * Tamil * Urdu * etc.

* Bulgarian * Burmese * Cambodian * Cantonese * Catalan * Chinese (Mandarin, mainland) * Czech * Dutch * Dzongkha (Bhutanese) * English (Unified English ) * Esperanto * Estonian * Faroese * French * Georgian * German * Ghanaian * Greek * Guarani * Hawaiian * Hebrew * Hungarian * Icelandic * Inuktitut (reassigned vowels) * Iñupiaq * IPA * Irish * Italian * Kazakh * Kyrgyz * Latvian * Lithuanian * Maltese * Mongolian * Māori * Nigerian * Northern Sami * Persian * Philippine * Polish * Portuguese * Romanian * Russian * Samoan * Scandinavian * Slovak * South African * Spanish * Tatar * Taiwanese Mandarin (largely reassigned) * Thai border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Algerian Braille
Braille
(obsolete)

FREQUENCY-BASED SCRIPTS

* American Braille
Braille
(obsolete)

INDEPENDENT SCRIPTS

* Japanese * Korean * Two-Cell Chinese

EIGHT-DOT SCRIPTS

* Luxembourgish * Kanji * Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8)

SYMBOLS IN BRAILLE

* Braille
Braille
music * Canadian currency marks * Computer Braille
Braille
Code
Code
* Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8/GS6) * International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) * Nemeth braille code

BRAILLE TECHNOLOGY

* Braille
Braille
e-book * Braille
Braille
embosser * Braille
Braille
translator * Braille
Braille
watch * Mountbatten Brailler
Mountbatten Brailler
* Optical braille recognition
Optical braille recognition
* Perforation * Perkins Brailler * Refreshable braille display
Refreshable braille display
* Slate and stylus
Slate and stylus
* Braigo

PERSONS

* Louis Braille
Braille
* Charles Barbier * Valentin Haüy
Valentin Haüy
* Thakur Vishva Narain Singh * Sabriye Tenberken
Sabriye Tenberken
* William Bell Wait

ORGANISATIONS

* Braille
Braille
Institute of America * Braille
Braille
Without Borders * Japan Braille
Braille
Library * National Braille
Braille
Association * Blindness organizations * Schools for the blind * American Printing House for the Blind

OTHER TACTILE ALPHABETS

* Decapoint
Decapoint
* Moon type * New York Point * Night writing * Vibratese

RELATED TOPICS

* Accessible publishing * Braille
Braille
literacy * Robo Braille
Braille

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