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t;2IrE>Vjuʚ2Ir32Z?ԆBraille Authority of North America
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Unified English Braille Code
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? ,"Research Projectă
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$Objective II:
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Extension of the Literary Code
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'Report
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'by the
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Objective II Committee
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,"October 12, 1992
|Corrected through: November 23, 1992
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National Braille Press
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88 Saint Stephen Street
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Boston, Massachusetts 02115
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(1992'0*0*0*
?Xh#ACKNOWLEDGMENTSă
The committee gratefully acknowledges the general good guidance
and sometimes rather specific technical assistance (such as
counting parentheses and quotes in one instance) provided by Mrs.
Darleen Bogart, chairman of our parent committee. We also thank,
anonymously, the dozen or so persons whose opinions were
informally solicited on various subjects along the way.
We have enjoyed widespread good will and interest in our work
from the community concerned with braille, both here and abroad;
this has positively inspired us with a sense of hope that
important changes are possible, even as we all share a commitment
to the stability of English Braille.
Finally, our thanks go to the people of National Braille Press,
who have generously volunteered to take on the arduous job of
preparing this document for publication in both print and
braille.
0*((
?XH'PREFACEă
This report is the summary work of the Objective II Committee,
which was charged with defining the basic methodology for
extending the literary code (English Braille), as the first
technical step towards a Unified English Braille Code, a project
of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA).
The committee's principal activities took place from July through
October of 1992, and included two conventional meetings (in
Charlotte, NC in July and Southfield, MI in September), three
lengthy conference telephone calls, and virtually constant
communication through an electronic bulletin board. This latter
mechanism proved to be a particularly effective way for
geographically separated persons to work together on this kind of
task, and we commend it to other committees that are similarly
situated.
This document does not include extensive examples, using them
only to provide immediate clarifications in some cases. We are
developing examples separately, and expect to have them available
on an informal basis around the same time that this is published.
Readers, especially those not familiar with BANA's procedures,
?are reminded that the contents of this report are not official
?code. Even if accepted as a committee report, it is only part of
a larger process by which any or all of its proposals may, or may
not, eventually appear in a code officially approved for general
public purposes; in the meantime no such approval is implied.
?XRespectfully submitted,
The Objective II Committee:
XT. V. (Tim) Cranmer, Ph.D.(#
XEmerson Foulke, Ph.D.(#
XAbraham Nemeth, Ph.D.(#
XJoseph E. Sullivan, M.Sc. (Chairman)(#
0*((?"TABLE OF CONTENTSă
X` hp x (#%'0*,.8135@8: x
@;k (dots 3-4-5)
Prefix characters are those characters that, in current customary
braille, even beyond English, are quite often associated with the
characters that follow them. For all the prefixes except the
number sign, their use for that purpose obviously follows from
the fact that they have only right-hand dots, and thus are most
easily read when they are up against something on the right. In
the case of the number sign, usage as a precursor to numbers is
the universal long-standing custom. The reason for
distinguishing "general" and "special" prefixes will become
evident as the structural rules are developed.
Root characters are those that more commonly have a direct
meaning in themselves, or that complete the symbol when following
a prefix. The subdivision of roots into three smaller classes
plays no role in the symbol construction rules of this section;
these distinctions are made in anticipation of their use in the
next section. "Strong" roots are so named because they all have8'0*((dots in the top and bottom row of the braille cell and in the
left and right columns, and thus are physically unambiguous.
?XBraille Symbol: A braille symbol is one or more consecutive
braille characters that, as a unit, either (1) stand for a single
print character or (2) indicate how subsequent braille symbol(s)
are to be interpreted. Symbols of the first kind are called
"graphic symbols"; those of the second kind are called "indicator
symbols". Hereinafter, the unqualified word "symbol" will
normally mean a braille symbol, unless the context makes it clear
that the print is intended.
?` Mode: The term "mode" is used to describe the effect of an
indicator symbol on subsequent symbols. If, for example, an
indicator causes all the letters of a word to be interpreted as
capitals, then "capitals mode" may be said to be in effect over
that word.
?2.3XTHE PREFIX-ROOT CONCEPT IN BASIC FORM(#
As noted above regarding prefixes and roots, a great many current
braille symbols are either simple roots, or combinations of a
prefix followed by a root. This suggests the following natural
generalization: Let all symbols be either a single root
character or a series of prefixes terminated by a root character.
Mathematically, one could reduce this to: A symbol consists of
zero or more prefixes terminated by a root. The extent of
symbols constructed in this way would always be readily perceived
when reading, regardless of the order in which the symbols
appeared, because the root character would always mark the end of
each symbol and therefore the beginning of the next. Moreover,
this prefix-root notion would be well grounded in current usage.
Unfortunately, despite the simplicity and appeal of this concept,
there are a few symbols of current English Braille--such as the
double capital sign and the letter sign--that do not fit the
mold, and which the committee felt should not be changed. In the
end, therefore, the structural rules that were derived are
necessarily a little more complex than this basic idea, though
they are based upon it, as will be evident.
?!2.4XPURE PREFIXES TO BE USED ONLY AS INDICATORS(#
Symbols consisting only of prefixes, such as the double capital
sign, may be called "pure-prefix symbols". Consulting current
usage, and the fact that prefixes convey a sense of affecting
subsequent characters, the committee felt that such symbols
should never be used for graphic symbols, but only for
indicators. On the other hand, symbols terminated by roots can
be used both for graphic symbols and for indicators.'0*((ԌÙ
?2.5XGENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE STRUCTURAL RULES(#
These are primarily worded as "reading rules" that permit the
reader, starting at a braille character that is known to be the
beginning of a symbol, to determine unambiguously where the
symbol ends. The rules are based on the form of the symbol
alone, not its meaning, since the reader may not know the meaning
on first encounter and thus may need to isolate the symbol as a
first step to discovering that meaning.
The rules are to be simple, yet insofar as possible encompass the
symbols of current English Braille. Beginning braille readers
will undoubtedly not learn these rules at the outset, but by the
time they are ready to benefit from having them stated
explicitly, the rules should be natural and almost obvious.
The several rules give rise to corresponding categories of
braille symbols, which are considered in order, starting with the
space.
?02.6XSPACE SYMBOL(#
The braille space symbol is simply a braille space character. The
space symbol stands for some amount of "white space" in print,
including line endings, and may itself be sensed as the end of a
line. Thus all white space in print corresponds to white space
in braille, and vice versa, so that the braille reader always
remains completely and directly aware of this important print
device. However, the braille spacing is not intended to provide
a measurement of the "amount" of white space in print, which is
rarely important in itself. That is, the braille reader cannot
determine from space encountered in braille text how much space
is present in the print text. This is the case, either because
any amount of print space is usually represented by a single
space in braille, or because the number of spaces appearing in
the braille text is governed by braille formatting rules, such as
in the alignment of outline items and such.
Because some printing techniques can leave varying amounts of
white space, a useful transcriber rule would be: if you have a
reasonable doubt as to whether a space is present, presume that
one is present.
The braille space character never combines with other characters
to form a larger symbol.
H&0*((
?2.7XGENERAL SYMBOLS(#
? Reading Rules:
(1)XIf a symbol begins with a root character, then that is the
entire symbol (called a "simple root").(#
(2)XIf a symbol begins with a general prefix, continue to read
succeeding characters, including prefixes of either type,
until either a root or a space is encountered. If
terminated by a root, that root is part of the symbol; if by
a space, it is not part of the symbol.(#
The following are examples of general symbols usable in any
context.
J(Note: The filled cell `,
@`8 = x
@;k that begins each entry in the
following list of general symbols is not a part of the symbol.
Its presence enables precise determination of the following
character's cell position, and accordingly it is sometimes called
a "dot locator".)
JX `,
@`8 =x x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 ="m x
@;k (#
J`X `,
@`8 =.a x
@;k (#
J@X `,
@`8 =#b x
@;k (#
J X `,
@`8 =^"+ x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =_;4 x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =@,_;4 x
@;k (#
Of course some of these, particularly the last, would be unlikely
candidates for actual assignment in the code; but all obey the
rules for general symbols.
8'0*((ԌThe following are examples of general symbols that may be used
only before space:
J X `,
@`8 =" x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =.. x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =# x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =^" x
@;k (#
J
X `,
@`8 =_ x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =_; x
@;k (#
Because these symbols consist of prefixes only, they must be used
only for indicators. Moreover, because these symbols may be used
only before space, or in other words at the end of a nonspace
sequence, they are best assigned only to the role of "closing"
indicators for modes established for entire passages. In any
case, any assignment of such symbols for use must specify that
they can be positioned only before a space, without exception.
General symbols terminated by a root are intended to be used for
all kinds of symbols in braille, both indicators and graphic
symbols; hence the adjective "general" both for the class of
symbols and for the kind of prefix that begins them when they
aren't simple roots. The only restriction is that, when an
alphabetic print symbol has both a lowercase form and an
uppercase form, then the lowercase form should be assigned to
this class, and designated as such, with the associated uppercase
form assigned a corresponding augmented general symbol, that is
to a symbol consisting of the same characters preceded by a dot 6
character. (The augmented symbols are described next.)
?2.8XAUGMENTED GENERAL SYMBOLS(#
? !Reading Rules:
(1)XIf a symbol begins with a dot 6, and the next character is a
space, then the dot 6 is the entire symbol.(#
(2)XIf the character after the dot 6 is a root or a general
prefix, then the remainder of the symbol is read just as for
a general symbol, described in the preceding topic.(#
`'0*((ԌThe following are examples of augmented general symbols usable in
any context:
J X `,
@`8 =,x x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,"m x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,.a x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,#b x
@;k (#
J
X `,
@`8 =,^"+ x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,_;4 x
@;k (#
J`X `,
@`8 =,@,_;4 x
@;k (#
The following are examples of augmented general symbols that may
be used only before space:
J(X `,
@`8 =, x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =," x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,.. x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,# x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,^" x
@;k (#
JX `,
@`8 =,_ x
@;k (#
JhX `,
@`8 =,_; x
@;k (#
The same restrictions apply to the use of these before-space-only
symbols as were recited for the similar subcategory under
"General Symbols" above.
There is an important restriction on designers for assignment to
symbols of this class. It must not be sensible for augmented
general symbols ever to follow the dot 6 special symbols (see
topic below), for in such a case the dot 6 sequence would appear'0*((to include the initial dot 6 character of the augmented symbol.
This could lead, for example, to a "word capital" indicator being
read as a "passage capital" indicator. Because all the dot 6
special symbols establish capitalization, and differ only as to
extent, this restriction on augmented general symbols will be met
if each such symbol cannot be capitalized. In turn this
condition will be met if the symbol is either already a capital
J@(as with the `,
@`8 ,x x
@;k example) or is a symbol to which the concept
of capitalization does not apply.
The two final-letter contractions "ation" and "ally" are symbols
of this class; they are discussed in the next section under the
appropriate "Contractions" topic.
?
2.9XSPECIAL SYMBOLS(#
?(Reading Rules: If a symbol begins with dot 6 followed by another
special prefix, or with dots 5-6 in any case, the extent of the
symbol is determined by reading to the right until one of the
following events occurs:
(a)XA space, root, or general prefix braille character is
encountered. In that case the symbol is terminated just
before that braille character.(#
(b)XAnother special prefix character, with highest dot lower
than the highest dot of the preceding character, is
encountered. In that case the symbol is terminated just
before that "lower" braille character. (Put another way,
symbol breaks would occur before dot 6 following dots 5-6,
and not otherwise as long as only special prefixes are
encountered. This rule could be summarized as "when the
dots drop, stop".)(#
If we consider for the moment only symbols up to three characters
in length, the above reading rules imply that there are exactly 8
viable special symbols, listed in the table below in a
"lowest-to-highest" order, with rightmost character varying most
rapidly, an ordering that is important as will be apparent. Next
to each symbol is a symbol number for reference, and in some
cases an assignment that will be discussed more fully in the next
section:
X` hp x (#%'0*,.8135@8: x
@;k (00fraction close(#0
?Discussion: These are to allow linear representation of
fractions that are written in print with numerator over the
denominator. The opening and closing symbols are therefore
technically indicators, since there is no corresponding graphic
in print. As with level changes, fractions are so common in math
contexts that it is important that these symbols be single-cell
in literal mode, while in general literary context we feel that
the added letter sign does not present an undue burden. (Note
that, because numbers establish word-literal mode, mixed numbers
would share in the efficiency of other math contexts.) The
beginning and ending symbols are balanced symmetrically, and
coincide with the symbols used for the same purpose (as well as
for actual parentheses) by the British.
?3.8XASCII CHARACTERS(#
?`Listing (in ASCII code order):
J `,
@`8 X=X` ` x
@;k 00(space)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=6 x
@;k (00exclamation mark(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=,7 x
@;k (00nondirectional double quote, symbol for inches or
secondsg(#0
J8" `,
@`8 X=_? x
@;k (00crosshatch (boxy shape; dots 1-4-5-6 is number
sign upsideg down)g(#0
J% `,
@`8 X=@s x
@;k (00dollar signg(#0% 0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=.0 x
@;k (00percent (emphasizes the use of `,
@`8 0 x
@;k in the print
symbol)g(#0
J `,
@`8 X=& x
@;k (00ampersandg(#0
J `,
@`8 X=' x
@;k (00apostrophe, single open/close/nondirectional
quote, symbol for feet or minutesg(#0
J `,
@`8 X=( x
@;k (00opening round parenthesisg(#0
J `,
@`8 X=) x
@;k (00closing round parenthesis(#0
J `,
@`8 X=@* x
@;k (00asterisk (CBC history)(#0
Jp
`,
@`8 X=+ x
@;k (00plus sign (Nemeth and CBC history)(#0
JP `,
@`8 X=1 x
@;k (00comma(#0
J0 `,
@`8 X=- x
@;k (00hyphen or minus sign(#0
J `,
@`8 X=4 x
@;k (00period, decimal, "dot" (e.g. in ellipsis)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=_/ x
@;k (00slash(#0
J `,
@`8 X=#j x
@;k (00digit 0 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
J `,
@`8 X=#a x
@;k (00digit 1 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
J `,
@`8 X=#b x
@;k (00digit 2 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
Jp `,
@`8 X=#c x
@;k (00digit 3 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
JP `,
@`8 X=#d x
@;k (00digit 4 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
J0 `,
@`8 X=#e x
@;k (00digit 5 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
J" `,
@`8 X=#f x
@;k (00digit 6 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
J# `,
@`8 X=#g x
@;k (00digit 7 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0
J% `,
@`8 X=#h x
@;k (00digit 8 & set numeric & word-literal modes(#0%!0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=#i x
@;k (00digit 9 & set numeric & word-literal modes
J0(#(#(#(# `,
@`8 X=3 x
@;k (00colon(#0
J `,
@`8 X=2 x
@;k (00semicolon(#0
J `,
@`8 X=@< x
@;k (00less-than sign or left angle bracket (CBC
history)g(#0
J `,
@`8 X== x
@;k (00equalsg(#0
Jx
`,
@`8 X=@> x
@;k (00greater-than sign or right angle bracket(#0
JX `,
@`8 X=: x
@;k (00question mark(#0
J8 `,
@`8 X=_a x
@;k (00at-sign(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,a x
@;k (00capital letter A(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,b x
@;k (00capital letter B(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,c x
@;k (00capital letter C(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,d x
@;k (00capital letter D(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,e x
@;k (00capital letter E(#0
Jx `,
@`8 X=,f x
@;k (00capital letter F(#0
JX `,
@`8 X=,g x
@;k (00capital letter G(#0
J8 `,
@`8 X=,h x
@;k (00capital letter H(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,i x
@;k (00capital letter I(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,j x
@;k (00capital letter J(#0
J" `,
@`8 X=,k x
@;k (00capital letter K(#0
J$ `,
@`8 X=,l x
@;k (00capital letter L(#0
J& `,
@`8 X=,m x
@;k (00capital letter M(#0&"0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=,n x
@;k (00capital letter N(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,o x
@;k (00capital letter O(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,p x
@;k (00capital letter P(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,q x
@;k (00capital letter Q(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,r x
@;k (00capital letter R(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=,s x
@;k (00capital letter S(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=,t x
@;k (00capital letter T(#0
J
`,
@`8 X=,u x
@;k (00capital letter U(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,v x
@;k (00capital letter V(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,w x
@;k (00capital letter W(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,x x
@;k (00capital letter X(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,y x
@;k (00capital letter Y(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,z x
@;k (00capital letter Z(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=@( x
@;k (00opening square bracket(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=_* x
@;k (00backslash (opposite of the slash)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=@) x
@;k (00closing square bracket(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,5 x
@;k (00caret mark (preserves shape) (note: needs a
letter sign if not in literal mode)g(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,- x
@;k (00underscore alone (related to hyphen, shows thatg
it's down")g(#0
J# `,
@`8 X=.* x
@;k (00accent grave alone (has the right slant)g(#0
J% `,
@`8 X=a x
@;k (00letter a(#0%#0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=b x
@;k (00letter b
J0(#(#(#(# `,
@`8 X=c x
@;k (00letter c(#0
J `,
@`8 X=d x
@;k (00letter d(#0
J `,
@`8 X=e x
@;k (00letter e(#0
J `,
@`8 X=f x
@;k (00letter f(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=g x
@;k (00letter g(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=h x
@;k (00letter h(#0
J
`,
@`8 X=i x
@;k (00letter i(#0
J `,
@`8 X=j x
@;k (00letter j(#0
J `,
@`8 X=k x
@;k (00letter k(#0
J `,
@`8 X=l x
@;k (00letter l(#0
J `,
@`8 X=m x
@;k (00letter m(#0
J `,
@`8 X=n x
@;k (00letter n(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=o x
@;k (00letter o(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=p x
@;k (00letter p(#0
J `,
@`8 X=q x
@;k (00letter q(#0
J `,
@`8 X=r x
@;k (00letter r(#0
J `,
@`8 X=s x
@;k (00letter s(#0
J! `,
@`8 X=t x
@;k (00letter t(#0
J# `,
@`8 X=u x
@;k (00letter u(#0
J% `,
@`8 X=v x
@;k (00letter v(#0%$0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=w x
@;k (00letter w
J0(#(#(#(# `,
@`8 X=x x
@;k (00letter x(#0
J `,
@`8 X=y x
@;k (00letter y(#0
J `,
@`8 X=z x
@;k (00letter z(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.( x
@;k (00opening curly brace(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=\ x
@;k (00vertical bar(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=.) x
@;k (00closing curly brace(#0
J
`,
@`8 X="/ x
@;k (00tilde or wavy line (no 3 dots on same level)(#0
?Discussion: Practically all of the symbols presented prior to
this topic have been indicators, with no corresponding print
graphics. Turning to the graphic symbols, we present this group
first because it is probably the best-known long-established
standard list of characters for computers, and encompasses all of
the characters that commonly occur in English text--along with
some that almost never occur except in technical materials with a
computer orientation. By providing symbols for all of these, we
provide for essentially all that were covered by the Computer
Braille Code (Ref. 87a).
The motives for some of the assignments are given in parentheses;
to those notes we may add the following:
(1)XThe dollar sign suggests a "modified s", which is of course
what the dollar sign is, and conveys more meaning to the
braille reader in the increasingly common cases where the
dollar sign is used for a special effect in place of an s in
words such as "SALE" or "SAVINGS".(#
(2)XThe nondirectional double quote is intended as a fall-back
when that is clearly the character used; it would be more
common to use the directional ones--i.e. distinguishing
opening from closing--that are now used, as listed in a
separate topic below.(#
(3)XWe felt it simply unnecessary to distinguish nondirectional
single quotes from directional ones or from the apostrophe,
since print often does not distinguish.(#
8'%0*((Ԍ(4)XThe round parentheses correspond to the parentheses of the
Nemeth 1972 code, and to square brackets in the British
system, and so are widely familiar. The fact that each is
just the lower-g plus one dot may be a slight mnemonic aid.
In general literary context, a letter sign will be needed to
prevent reading these as "of" and "with", but that is not
deemed burdensome compared with leaving them ambiguous as to
direction, as was the case with lower-g. The committee
considered using the lower-h and lower-j for these instead
of for directional quotes (see topic below), but in the end
does not recommend such a change, in part because it would
be a rather noticeable change in some kinds of literature
and also because quotes seem in general to be more common
than parentheses (as determined by an informal survey) and
therefore better served by the shorter symbol.(#
(5)XThe question mark needed to be reassigned because a symbol
can have only one literal meaning, and we wished to retain
its use as a directional double quote (see topic below).(#
JXBecause `,
@`8 : x
@;k (dots 1-5-6) rarely occurs at the end of English
words, nothing is lost by restricting that contraction so
that it cannot be used in that position, thus freeing the (#
Xsymbol to mean question mark in that position even when not
in literal mode, and in any position when in literal mode.
The association with "wh", which of course often begins
questions, is a mnemonic bonus.(#
(6)XThe assignment to vertical bar deliberately stays with a
one-cell treatment when already in literal mode (although of
course it otherwise needs a letter sign so as not to be read
as "ou" or "out"), anticipating that more complex cases
involving bars over and under, etc., built upon this basic
symbol, will be defined by the mathematics committee.(#
?3.9XPUNCTUATION (OTHER THAN ASCII)(#
?X Listing:
J" `,
@`8 X=8 x
@;k (00opening directional double quotes(#0
J$X `,
@`8 =0 x
@;k (00closing directional double quotes(#0
Jp&X `,
@`8 =. x
@;k (00dash (when distinguished from hyphen[s] in print)(#0p&&0*((Ԍ?ԙDiscussion: The quotes are of course the currently used symbols,
and their continued use would be recommended in general, except
where the nondirectional ASCII double quote is clearly intended
or there is no simple way to make a distinction.
?3.10XSYMBOLS FOR MATHEMATICS (OTHER THAN ASCII)(#
?@Listing:
J `,
@`8 X=.[ x
@;k (00times (X or cross)(#0
Jx
X `,
@`8 =./ x
@;k (00divided by (line between dots)(#0
JXX `,
@`8 =,4 x
@;k (00times (dot)(#0
?Discussion: These anticipate the much larger set to be developed
by the mathematics committee.
?3.11XACCENTS(#
Listing:
J` `,
@`8 X=^3 x
@;k (00dieresis/umlaut over preceding letter symbol
(suggests horizontal two-dot shape)g(#0
JXX `,
@`8 =^& x
@;k (00cedilla under preceding letter symbol (uses theg
French c with cedilla sign)g(#0
JPX `,
@`8 =^* x
@;k (00grave over preceding letter symbol (suggestsg
shape)g(#0
JH! `,
@`8 X=^% x
@;k (00circumflex over preceding letter symbol (uses theg
French i with circumflex sign)g(#0
J@$ `,
@`8 X=^$ x
@;k (00circle above preceding letter symbol (by processg
of elimination)g(#0 &'0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=^] x
@;k (00tilde as in nyay over preceding letter symbolg
(uses the Spanish nyay sign)g(#0
J `,
@`8 X=^/ x
@;k (00acute over preceding letter symbol (suggestsg
shape)g(#0
g
?Discussion: These all use the dots 4-5 prefix to suggest
something "up", which of course is the usual case with accents.
The actual positioning, whether over or under, is implicit in the
symbol itself, which simply follows the affected letter.
?hThese accent marks are not intended for use in those cases where
foreign language passages, as defined in the current English
Braille code, are to be transcribed. That case is covered in a
separate topic below. Rather, they are to be used only in
"anglicized" words (again relying on the current definition) or
other cases where accented letters are used in essentially
English or technical context.
?p3.12XGREEK ALPHABET(#
?Listing (in order of Greek alphabet):
J `,
@`8 X=.a x
@;k (00Greek alpha (lowercase)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =.b x
@;k (00Greek beta (lowercase)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =.g x
@;k (00Greek gamma (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.d x
@;k (00Greek delta (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.e x
@;k (00Greek epsilon (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.z x
@;k (00Greek zeta (lowercase)(#0
J`" `,
@`8 X=.: x
@;k (00Greek eta (lowercase)(#0
J@$ `,
@`8 X=.? x
@;k (00Greek theta (lowercase)(#0
J & `,
@`8 X=.i x
@;k (00Greek iota (lowercase)(#0 &(0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=.k x
@;k (00Greek kappa (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.l x
@;k (00Greek lambda (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.m x
@;k (00Greek mu (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.n x
@;k (00Greek nu (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.x x
@;k (00Greek xi (lowercase)(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=.o x
@;k (00Greek omicron (lowercase)(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=.p x
@;k (00Greek pi (lowercase)(#0
J
`,
@`8 X=.r x
@;k (00Greek rho (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.s x
@;k (00Greek sigma (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.t x
@;k (00Greek tau (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.u x
@;k (00Greek upsilon (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.f x
@;k (00Greek phi (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=.& x
@;k (00Greek chi (lowercase)(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=.y x
@;k (00Greek psi (lowercase)(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=.w x
@;k (00Greek omega (lowercase)(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.a x
@;k (00capital Greek alpha(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.b x
@;k (00capital Greek beta(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.g x
@;k (00capital Greek gamma(#0
J! `,
@`8 X=,.d x
@;k (00capital Greek delta(#0
J# `,
@`8 X=,.e x
@;k (00capital Greek epsilon(#0
J% `,
@`8 X=,.z x
@;k (00capital Greek zeta(#0%)0*((ԌJ `,
@`8 X=,.: x
@;k capital Greek eta
J(#(#(#(# `,
@`8 X=,.? x
@;k (00capital Greek theta(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.i x
@;k (00capital Greek iota(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.k x
@;k (00capital Greek kappa(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.l x
@;k (00capital Greek lambda(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=,.m x
@;k (00capital Greek mu(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=,.n x
@;k (00capital Greek nu(#0
J
`,
@`8 X=,.x x
@;k (00capital Greek xi(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.o x
@;k (00capital Greek omicron(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.p x
@;k (00capital Greek pi(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.r x
@;k (00capital Greek rho(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.s x
@;k (00capital Greek sigma(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.t x
@;k (00capital Greek tau(#0
J` `,
@`8 X=,.u x
@;k (00capital Greek upsilon(#0
J@ `,
@`8 X=,.f x
@;k (00capital Greek phi(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.& x
@;k (00capital Greek chi(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.y x
@;k (00capital Greek psi(#0
J `,
@`8 X=,.w x
@;k (00capital Greek omega(#0
?P#Discussion: These symbols are based on the international
standard (as in Refs. 72a, 77a and 84a) rather than upon the
slightly different modern Greek alphabet (Ref. 90a). This is to
be consistent with the Nemeth 1972 code, and with the intended
use of these symbols in English and technical context only.
8'*0*((ԌThe formation of this alphabet illustrates a process that can be
applied to other foreign alphabets as needed.
?XAs with the accent marks, these symbols are not intended for use
in those cases where actual Greek language passages, meeting the
definition of "foreign language" passages as defined in the
current English Braille code, are to be transcribed. That case
is covered in a separate topic below. Rather, they are to be used
only in cases such as the word "microsecond" (with the "micro"
written as a Greek mu), the names of fraternities and sororities,
and other cases where Greek letters are used in essentially
English or technical context.
?3.13XFOREIGN LANGUAGES IN ENGLISH CONTEXT(#
The current English Braille code has a set of rules for
recognizing those instances where, even in a generally English
context, a foreign language is used as such. In those cases, the
braille transcription switches to symbols that are mostly the
same as those used in the uncontracted braille defined by
speakers of that language. The braille is thus logically
connected to the braille that would be found in literature
published entirely in that foreign language, which obviously
benefits both those who are learning the language and those who
already know it.
The only drawback to this current treatment is that the switches
back and forth between English and the foreign language (or
languages) are made implicitly. That is, the human brain is
assumed capable of sensing which language is being written; no
explicit indicators are given (except to the extent that font
changes or formatting clues may be present). In some cases, this
may only reflect the situation in the print, where sometimes the
words of a foreign language may be distinguishable from English
words only by referring to the larger context of presentation.
This situation seems workable enough for human readers, but at
the current state of the art (and for the foreseeable future)
will inhibit automated translation, at least from braille to
print. A blind teacher of foreign languages, for example, would
have to "assist" the translation program in order to derive
correct print from a braille file containing mixed English and
foreign-language material.
The committee recommends that the current way of handling foreign
languages should be continued, at least until Unified Code for
English itself has been well established. At that time, if a
problem is perceived in the handling of foreign languages, we
recommend that the problem be addressed by a committee with
specific skills and interests in this area. This is because:
'+0*((Ԍ(1)Xas noted above, the current system serves students and
readers of the foreign language well;(#
(2)Xthe one problem noted is probably not encountered often in
practice, and can be worked around; and(#
(3)Xa "cure" for the problem, such as explicit indicators, would
require very careful study, lest the cure be worse than the
"disease".(#
?3.14XPHONETICS AND DIACRITICS(#
The special print symbols used to clarify pronunciation have been
codified in braille (Ref. 77a), but unfortunately this is one
instance where the symbol set is quite often at variance with the
standard symbol construction system we have defined in the
previous section.
The subject of phonetics is complex enough, and the set of needed
symbols large enough, that consideration by a committee with the
appropriate skills and interests is clearly in order. We
recommend that, after the more basic aspects of Unified Code have
been established, this subject be assigned to such a committee.
Until then, we recommend that, like foreign languages and for
some of the same reasons, complex phonetics continue to be
brailled according to current code.
By way of exception, when the only diacritics involved are the
same as accent marks, then the accent symbols may be used.
?3.15XOTHER SPECIALIZED SYMBOLS(#
?XListing:
J `,
@`8 X=,' x
@;k (00caps terminator and transc. note indicator(#0
JX `,
@`8 =@.a x
@;k (00ae diphthong (lowercase)(#0
Jp!X `,
@`8 =@.c x
@;k (00copyright (circled c)(#0
JP#X `,
@`8 =@.o x
@;k (00oe diphthong (lowercase)(#0
J0%X `,
@`8 =@.r x
@;k (00registered trademark (circled r)(#00%,0*((ԌJX `,
@`8 =@.t x
@;k (00registered trademark (circled letters tm)
J0(#(#(#(#X `,
@`8 =@,? x
@;k (00dagger (shape)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =@,$ x
@;k (00fist with pointing index finger ("ed" sign is f
for fist plus dot 6)g(#0
JX `,
@`8 =@,] x
@;k (00double dagger (shape, extension of dagger)g(#0
JX `,
@`8 =@c x
@;k (00cent sign (c with line)(#0
Jx
X `,
@`8 =@f x
@;k (00franc (script f)(#0
JXX `,
@`8 =@l x
@;k (00British pound (script L with line)(#0
J8X `,
@`8 =@y x
@;k (00yen (Y with double line)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =^j x
@;k (00degree (relationship to zero)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =^p x
@;k (00paragraph symbol (P with double stem)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =^s x
@;k (00section mark (interlocked S's)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =^x x
@;k (00female or Venus symbol (x chromosome)(#0
JX `,
@`8 =^y x
@;k (00male or Mars symbol (y chromosome)(#0
JxX `,
@`8 =^[ x
@;k (00indicates window contents on calculator &c. (see
keycap below)g(#0
JpX `,
@`8 =_4 x
@;k (00bullet (large dot)g(#0
JPX `,
@`8 =_x x
@;k (00box (hollow square shape)(#0
J0 X `,
@`8 =_( x
@;k (00transcriber group open (to show grouping that is
implicit in print)g(#0
J(#X `,
@`8 =_) x
@;k (00transcriber group closeg(#0
J%X `,
@`8 =."r x
@;k (00Rx (Prescription symbol)(#0%-0*((ԌJX `,
@`8 =[ x
@;k (00indicates keycap (chosen for brevity as these are
dense when needed) (likely to be also used forg
termination of radical in math, which doesn't
conflict)(#0
g
?Discussion: The reasons for these assignments, where not
obvious, are given individually. In some cases, the assignments
were chosen to coincide with known current thinking of BANA
and/or BAUK committees (e.g. see Ref. 91c).
?h3.16XCONTRACTIONS--CLASSIFICATION(#
There are 189 contractions of current Standard English Braille.
Following mostly the standard categories, with a few taken out of
sequence, we can discuss them conveniently under the following
twelve headings (with the number of contractions under each
heading given in parentheses):
XBle contraction (1)(#
XTo, into, by (3)(#
XLower one-cell contractions and whole-word signs (16)(#
XAlphabetic one-cell whole-word contractions (23)(#
XNonalphabetic one-cell contractions & whole-word signs (23)(#
XTwo-cell initial-letter contractions beginning with 4-5 (5)(#
XX` ` Two-cell initial-letter contractions beginning with 4-5-6
(6)(#`
XTwo-cell initial-letter contractions beginning with 5 (22)(#
XTwo-cell final-letter contractions beginning with 4-6 (5)(#
XTwo-cell final-letter contractions beginning with 6 (2)(#
XTwo-cell final-letter contractions beginning with 5-6 (7)(#
XShort-form words (76)(#
?(3.17 BLE CONTRACTION
?Listing:
J" `,
@`8 X=# x
@;k (00ble(#0
?%Discussion: Because the dots 3-4-5-6 character is a prefix, it
cannot appear as a complete symbol except before space.
Therefore it is strongly recommended that this contraction should
at a minimum be limited to usage before space only (and to after'.0*((the start of a letters-word, as is current practice). Besides
being required by our symbol structure rules, this change would
JXremove some current ambiguities, such as `,
@`8 8a#d0 x
@;k (abled)
J8being technically indistinguishable from `,
@`8 8a#d0 x
@;k (letter a
digit 4) in current English Braille (American usage). Also,
since words ending in "ble" are normally adjectives, the
before-space condition would apply in the majority of instances.
We further recommend that, to avoid having "ble" used when a
space follows but forbidden when, say, comma follows, the "ble"
contraction be dropped altogether. (Further note: if the "ble"
contraction is retained, even though allowed only before space,
there would be a conflict with the "end of first
transcriber-defined type form passage indicator" defined
previously, which would necessitate dropping or redefining the
"first transcriber-defined type form" group.)
?@3.18 TO, INTO, BY
?Listing:
J( `,
@`8 X=6 x
@;k (00to(#0
JX `,
@`8 =96 x
@;k (00into(#0
JX `,
@`8 =0 x
@;k (00by(#0
?XDiscussion: To preserve spacing, we obviously must strongly
recommend that these contractions be discontinued. That would
have the beneficial side-effect of terminating the ongoing
controversy over contracting across "natural pauses". Also to
avoid obscuring spaces, we likewise strongly recommend
discontinuing the practice of omitting the spaces between "and",
"of", "with" etc. Again, as a welcome side-effect, a potential
(if admittedly farfetched) ambiguity would be removed (because
words such as "Withand" and "Forthe" are conceivable, even if
fanciful, as brand names and such).
$/0*((
?3.19XLOWER ONE-CELL CONTRACTIONS AND WHOLE-WORD SIGNS(#
?XListing:
J `,
@`8 X=1 x
@;k (00ea(#0
JX `,
@`8 =2 x
@;k (00bb(#0
JX `,
@`8 =2 x
@;k (00be(#0
J X `,
@`8 =3 x
@;k (00cc(#0
JhX `,
@`8 =3 x
@;k (00con(#0
JH
X `,
@`8 =4 x
@;k (00dd(#0
J(X `,
@`8 =4 x
@;k (00dis(#0
JX `,
@`8 =5 x
@;k (00en(#0
JX `,
@`8 =5 x
@;k (00enough(#0
JX `,
@`8 =6 x
@;k (00ff(#0
JX `,
@`8 =7 x
@;k (00gg(#0
JX `,
@`8 =7 x
@;k (00were(#0
JhX `,
@`8 =8 x
@;k (00his(#0
JHX `,
@`8 =9 x
@;k (00in(#0
J(X `,
@`8 =0 x
@;k (00was(#0
J X `,
@`8 =- x
@;k (00com(#0
?"Discussion: Except for "com", these are readable under current
rules, in our judgment. In fact, we recommend removal of the
so-called "lower sign rules," since it seems illogical to us that
words such as "was" and "enough" are deemed readable when
surrounded by spaces or even preceded by one or two capitals, but
somehow not readable when followed by a period or comma. It is
preferable, in our opinion, for these and all other English words`'00*((to have a normal braille form that is used consistently for
easiest recognition, with alternate forms used only when some
internal modification (such as a single internal letter in
boldface) makes it necessary.
The existence of these contractions implies that a literal
indicator must be used to indicate the literal meaning when
punctuation marks occur in positions where the contraction
meaning could be understood--a colon just before a letters-word,
for instance.
One troublesome case, however, is the "com"; retention of the
"com" would require us to use a literal indicator before almost
every hyphen that follows punctuation and precedes letters, just
to say that it is not "com". While such cases are not very
common, they definitely occur, and in the committee's judgment
any contraction conflict with the hyphen comes at a particularly
high pricepartly because of the hyphen's special role in
defining when whole words "stand alone" (see topic 3.20 below),
and partly because the hyphen symbol itself already has several
"meanings", being sometimes used alone or in multiples instead of
longer dashes, sometimes as minus signs, and sometimes introduced
when formatting, to show word breaks at line endings.
Consequently, dropping the "com" is strongly recommended. Note
that the current practice, i.e. forbidding "com" when in contact
with hyphen, does not really address the formal ambiguity that
concerns us here.
?3.20XALPHABETIC ONE-CELL WHOLE-WORD CONTRACTIONS(#
?Listing:
J `,
@`8 X=b x
@;k (00but(#0
JX `,
@`8 =c x
@;k (00can(#0
JX `,
@`8 =d x
@;k (00do(#0
JX `,
@`8 =e x
@;k (00every(#0
J X `,
@`8 =f x
@;k (00from(#0
J`"X `,
@`8 =g x
@;k (00go(#0
J@$X `,
@`8 =h x
@;k (00have(#0
J &X `,
@`8 =j x
@;k (00just(#0 &10*((ԌJX `,
@`8 =k x
@;k (00knowledge(#0
JX `,
@`8 =l x
@;k (00like(#0
JX `,
@`8 =m x
@;k (00more(#0
JX `,
@`8 =n x
@;k (00not(#0
JX `,
@`8 =p x
@;k (00people(#0
J` X `,
@`8 =q x
@;k (00quite(#0
J@X `,
@`8 =r x
@;k (00rather(#0
J
X `,
@`8 =s x
@;k (00so(#0
JX `,
@`8 =t x
@;k (00that(#0
JX `,
@`8 =u x
@;k (00us(#0
JX `,
@`8 =v x
@;k (00very(#0
JX `,
@`8 =w x
@;k (00will(#0
JX `,
@`8 =x x
@;k (00it(#0
J`X `,
@`8 =y x
@;k (00you(#0
J@X `,
@`8 =z x
@;k (00as(#0
?Discussion: These can remain essentially unchanged, except that
?xwe should start using a literal indicator (letter sign) in any
case where any of the 23 affected letters stands alone, even if
capitalized and followed by a period. Otherwise, the full
sentence "So." is indistinguishable from the initial "S.". On
the other hand, as already mentioned, use of the letter sign on
the 3 unaffected letters, even when used "as a letter", should be
discontinued, as it is unnecessary and impossible to automate
(because computer programs cannot discern meaning).
The concept of a letter "standing alone" needs to be better
defined, as it does not, in current English Braille, mean simply
that the letter itself constitutes an entire letters-word (i.e.
that it is between non-letters). Rather, as we interpret it, the'20*((current practice is to consider a letter as "standing alone" only
if it is also the only letter in the entire symbols-word, or if
the symbols-word contains hyphens or dashes, the section of the
symbols-word bounded by the nearest hyphen, dash, or space in
either direction. We recommend that the definition of "standing
alone" be examined by the Literary Committee for possible further
clarification, and even possible change, as this definition
indirectly governs when literal indicators are needed.
?3.21XNONALPHABETIC ONE-CELL CONTRACTIONS & WHOLE-WORD SIGNS(#
?(
Listing:
JX `,
@`8 =& x
@;k (00and(#0
J`X `,
@`8 == x
@;k (00for(#0
J@X `,
@`8 =( x
@;k (00of(#0
J X `,
@`8 =! x
@;k (00the(#0
JX `,
@`8 =) x
@;k (00with(#0
JX `,
@`8 =* x
@;k (00ch(#0
JX `,
@`8 =* x
@;k (00child(#0
JX `,
@`8 =< x
@;k (00gh(#0
JX `,
@`8 =% x
@;k (00sh(#0
J`X `,
@`8 =% x
@;k (00shall(#0
J@X `,
@`8 =? x
@;k (00th(#0
J !X `,
@`8 =? x
@;k (00this(#0
J#X `,
@`8 =: x
@;k (00wh(#0
J$X `,
@`8 =: x
@;k (00which(#0
J&X `,
@`8 =$ x
@;k (00ed(#0&30*((ԌJX `,
@`8 =] x
@;k (00er(#0
JX `,
@`8 =\ x
@;k (00ou(#0
JX `,
@`8 =\ x
@;k (00out(#0
JX `,
@`8 =[ x
@;k (00ow(#0
JX `,
@`8 =/ x
@;k (00st(#0
J` X `,
@`8 =/ x
@;k (00still(#0
J@X `,
@`8 =+ x
@;k (00ing(#0
J
X `,
@`8 => x
@;k (00ar(#0
?Discussion: This category is dominated by the "strong"
contractions, such as "the", that are always recognizable and so
there is no need to alter their use, including the transcriber
rules that have to do with syllabification, etc. The only
problem we noted here applies to those contractions that stand
for a longer full word when they stand alone, e.g. sh vs. shall.
When the shorter sequence happens to stand alone as a
letters-word, e.g. "Sh!", we cannot resort to use of the literal
indicator, because the literal meaning of that braille symbol
will be something unrelated to either contraction. Instead, the
rule should be in all such cases that the letters be spelled out.
As noted previously, the "wh" contraction should be restricted so
that it cannot be contracted at the end of a letters-word, where
it would be read as a question mark.
?3.22XTWO-CELL INITIAL-LETTER CONTRACTIONS BEGINNING WITH 4-5(#
? Listing:
JP# `,
@`8 X=^u x
@;k (00upon(#0
J0%X `,
@`8 =^w x
@;k (00word(#00%40*((ԌJX `,
@`8 =^! x
@;k (00these
J0(#(#(#(#X `,
@`8 =^? x
@;k (00those(#0
JX `,
@`8 =^: x
@;k (00whose(#0
?0Discussion: These are all proper symbols and so there is no need
to change their use.
?P
3.23XTWO-CELL INITIAL-LETTER CONTRACTIONS BEGINNING WITH 4-5-6(#
?Listing:
J `,
@`8 X=_c x
@;k (00cannot(#0
JX `,
@`8 =_h x
@;k (00had(#0
JX `,
@`8 =_m x
@;k (00many(#0
JX `,
@`8 =_s x
@;k (00spirit(#0
JX `,
@`8 =_w x
@;k (00world(#0
J`X `,
@`8 =_! x
@;k (00their(#0
?Discussion: These are all proper symbols and so there is no need
to change their use.
?3.24XTWO-CELL INITIAL-LETTER CONTRACTIONS BEGINNING WITH 5(#
?H!Listing:
J# `,
@`8 X="d x
@;k (00day(#0
J%X `,
@`8 ="e x
@;k (00ever(#0%50*((ԌJX `,
@`8 ="f x
@;k (00father
J0(#(#(#(#X `,
@`8 ="h x
@;k (00here(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="k x
@;k (00know(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="l x
@;k (00lord(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="m x
@;k (00mother(#0
J` X `,
@`8 ="n x
@;k (00name(#0
J@X `,
@`8 ="o x
@;k (00one(#0
J
X `,
@`8 ="p x
@;k (00part(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="q x
@;k (00question(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="r x
@;k (00right(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="s x
@;k (00some(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="t x
@;k (00time(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="u x
@;k (00under(#0
J`X `,
@`8 ="w x
@;k (00work(#0
J@X `,
@`8 ="y x
@;k (00young(#0
J X `,
@`8 ="! x
@;k (00there(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="* x
@;k (00character(#0
JX `,
@`8 ="? x
@;k (00through(#0
J!X `,
@`8 =": x
@;k (00where(#0
J#X `,
@`8 ="\ x
@;k (00ought(#0
?'Discussion: These are all proper symbols and so there is no need
to change their use. '60*((Ԍ
?3.25 TWO-CELL FINAL-LETTER CONTRACTIONS BEGINNING WITH 4-6
? Listing:
Jx `,
@`8 X=.d x
@;k (00ound(#0
JXX `,
@`8 =.e x
@;k (00ance(#0
J8 X `,
@`8 =.n x
@;k (00sion(#0
JX `,
@`8 =.s x
@;k (00less(#0
JX `,
@`8 =.t x
@;k (00ount(#0
?Discussion: These are all proper symbols and so there is no need
to change their use. In fact, it would be tempting to permit
"less" to be used even when standing as a full word, as the dots
4-6 would no longer be read as an italic indicator. However, we
recommend against such a change, because these contractions all
obviously have a "suffix" connotation and it seems best to keep
all the rules governing them the same, and consistent with that
connotation.
?p3.26 TWO-CELL FINAL-LETTER CONTRACTIONS BEGINNING WITH 6
?Listing:
J `,
@`8 X=,n x
@;k (00ation(#0
JX `,
@`8 =,y x
@;k (00ally(#0
?p!Discussion: These are proper symbols, but of course normally mean
N and Y respectively, and so are somewhat troublesome as
contractions. However, they can be retained without ambiguity
provided we make some special provisions, namely:
(1)Xany actual N or Y occurring in a letters-word after
lowercase must be handled in literal mode, and(#
(2)Xif "ATION" or "Ation" or "ALLY" or "Ally" occur in a'70*((letters-word after lowercase, then these contractions must
not be used (that is, at least the A must appear as a single
letter). (#
?3.27 TWO-CELL FINAL-LETTER CONTRACTIONS BEGINNING WITH 5-6
?@Listing:
J `,
@`8 X=;e x
@;k (00ence(#0
Jx
X `,
@`8 =;g x
@;k (00ong(#0
JXX `,
@`8 =;l x
@;k (00ful(#0
J8X `,
@`8 =;n x
@;k (00tion(#0
JX `,
@`8 =;s x
@;k (00ness(#0
JX `,
@`8 =;t x
@;k (00ment(#0
JX `,
@`8 =;y x
@;k (00ity(#0
?HDiscussion: Under our symbol structure rules, these contractions
have the distinction of being the only ones, other than the
short-form words and "into", that are actually symbol sequences
instead of single symbols. There is a natural meaning of this
sequence, namely that the letter after the letter sign is to be
read literally, rather than as part of some contraction. That
natural meaning is, on its face, at variance with the intended
usage as a contraction. However, as with the "ation" and "ally"
case discussed in the preceding topic, the usage rules governing
these contractions restrict them to cases where they can be
distinguished, if we are determined to keep them. Specifically,
they are used only in those places where, if in fact only the
simple letter did occur, there would be no need for the literal
indicator--and so, perversely, the presence of the literal
indicator signals that a contraction is intended, instead of the
opposite.
Seeing it that way, it is natural to wish these contractions did
not exist, and so we recommend their removal, especially if other
reasons also point in the same direction. We have not had time
to confirm or conduct the relevant research ourselves, but
understand from a well-known teacher of braille (Ref.: informal'80*((communication from P. Hatlen) that there may already be studies
indicating that these, and final-letter contractions generally,
are the most difficult to learn to recognize. If, therefore, the
reasons already advanced for removal of these contractions is
deemed insufficient for so large a change, then we recommend that
those prior studies be analyzed, and further ones conducted as
necessary, so that the teaching and learning cost, in both
monetary and human terms, can be factored into the final
decision.
If these contractions are retained, a further rule is necessary
to cover certain unusual capitalization patterns. As was the
case with "ation" and "ally", these contractions cannot be used
when capitalized following lowercase letters within the word,
because that would set up a symbol sequence (dot 6's, then dots
5-6's) that cannot be juxtaposed under our symbol sequencing
rules. Once again, the problem can be solved simply by not using
these contractions in such a case.
?3.28 SHORT-FORM WORDS
?Listing:
JPX` 0hp x (#%'0*,.8135@8:0*((Ԍ
?3.29XCONTRACTIONS--GENERAL TREATMENT OF HOMOGRAPHS(#
We strongly recommend that the principle enunciated in the third
numbered paragraph of the preceding topic be applied to all
contraction usage within full words, whether or not short-form
words are involved. That is, any instance of a complete word
should be treated by one braille form, derived according to the
most common meaning of the word, but without regard to the actual
meaning in a particular instance. For example, it should not
matter in the braille whether "US" in a capitalized headline
means "United States" or "all of us people"--and it is easy
enough to imagine that the print itself could be ambiguous in
this case. Likewise it should not matter whether "do" is a verb
of action or refers to a musical note. The main reason is the
same as that given above, namely that distinguishing among the
meanings of homographs is really part of the business, and
sometimes the fun, of reading. A secondary reason is that such
distinctions, which are rooted in meaning, are well beyond the
state of the art for practical automation. In summary, with
respect to full words, we believe it is time to cease requiring
that we make distinctions in braille that are costly to make and,
in the end, do not benefit the reader.
?This should not be read as a recommendation to use contractions
?willy-nilly inside words, such as "mother" in "chemotherapy" for
a well-known example. It is already well established that
current automation techniques can handle the bulk of the language
under the current rules. Those rules take such things as
syllable boundaries into account so as to prevent aberrations
that would be grossly misleading as to pronunciation of words in
their usual meanings, as in the "chemotherapy" example. In our
opinion, those rules are necessary to make the current
contraction system practical, and it would be better to cease
using contractions altogether than to use them without regard to
the natural structure of words in their common meanings.
?0*((
?&SECTION 4
?FOLLOW-ON RECOMMENDATIONSă
For the most part, the activities to follow the presentation of
this report are well covered in the action plan for the Unified
Code Project as a whole, which we will not repeat here. Moreover,
in preceding sections of this report, we have made some
recommendations regarding additional tasks to be carried out by
subsequent committees in the Unified Code Project or BANA's
standing committees.
There remains one specific concern, namely that, even if the
systems and principles recommended here are adopted, they could
easily be contravened inadvertently as other committees consider
matters far removed from issues such as the integrity of symbol
structure. BANA's mechanism for preventing such problems, namely
to circulate all code change proposals among all standing
committees, is a good one; we recommend only that a particular
standing committee, or perhaps a new advisory group with a
similar function, be given the specific task of reviewing all
proposals within the scope of the Unified Code for possible
symbol clashes and also for conformance to the basic structural
and other rules applicable to code design.
The mechanics of such a function should include a computerized
central registry of officially approved and proposed symbols,
with an automated way to check for duplicates and for proper
formation of newly proposed symbols. In doing its own work, this
committee has already developed working prototype files and
processes for those functions, and naturally is willing to
provide these mechanisms as a starting-point for any more
permanent advisory group.
@0*((
?%APPENDIX A
?
PROOF THAT SYMBOL EXTENTS ARE RECOGNIZABLEă
This proof merely formalizes what may already be obvious, namely
that the various classes of symbols and sequencing rules are
defined in such a way that it is always possible to discern the
boundary between two adjacent symbols. To put it another way: if
one knows where the current symbol starts, it is always possible
to tell where it ends, and therefore where the next one starts,
even if one does not know the "meaning" of either symbol.
The proof is easily constructed and followed, although it is a
bit tedious like most of the "enumerate all the cases" variety.
Still, we think it worth spelling out, for in the process our
symbol construction rules, and the reasons behind them, are
likely to be further clarified.
We begin by listing the various classes of symbols defined by the
reading rules. To minimize verbosity in the proof itself, we
assign a 2-letter name to each class. The list follows, and for
information purposes a count of the symbols with three or fewer
characters is given in parentheses for each class (but note that
the number of symbols in every class except space is actually
unlimited, because the symbols can be arbitrarily long):
Xsp space (1)(#
XX` ` ge general symbols terminated by root, usable anywhere
(3025)(#`
XX` ` gw general symbols not terminated, usable only before
(white) space (438)(#`
XX` ` au augmented general symbols, terminated by root, usable
anywhere (385)(#`
XX` ` aw augmented general symbols not terminated, usable only
before (white) space (55)(#`
XX` ` sc special capitals indicators (sequences of two or more dot
6's) (2)(#`
XX` ` sm special "mixed" indicators (the unassigned category
consisting of one or more dot 6's, followed by one or
more dots 5-6's) (3)(#`
XX` ` sl special literal indicators (sequences of one or more dots
5-6's) (3)(#`
Since there are 8 classes, there are in principle 64 possible
2-symbol sequences to consider.
However, since the space symbol is complete in itself, and
moreover not part of symbols in any other class, all combinations
involving space as either the first or second symbol need no
further consideration. That leaves the 49 combinations involving
the other 7 symbol classes.
'A0*((ԌBut further, since the symbols of class gw and aw can only be
followed by space, none of the other combinations commencing with
either of those two classes are allowed. Moreover, classes ge
and au are both self-delimiting, because by definition they are
terminated by the root character, and so the boundary is
determined regardless of the class to the right.
The only remaining cases, then, are the 21 combinations formed by
one of the classes sc, sm or sl on the left and one of the seven
nonspace classes on the right. Even many of those could be
grouped, but at this point it is just as easy to enumerate them
and do the grouping by reference:
1.Xsc ge: By definition any special symbol is terminated just
before a root or general prefix, and by definition a ge or
gw always begins with such a character, defining the
boundary.(#
2.Xsc gw: The reasoning is the same as case 1.(#
3.Xsc au: This case should not occur, because the rules for
code designers forbid assigning to class au any symbol that
might need capitalizing, and the transcriber rules require
any capitalization indicators to immediately precede the
first affected symbol.(#
4.Xsc aw: The reasoning is similar to case 3.(#
5.Xsc sc: This case cannot occur, as the rules for code
designers require that 2 symbols both in class sc (or both
in class sl) should never need to be juxtaposed. This is
fulfilled by having the various symbols within each class
indicate different extents of the same modes; it would never
be meaningful, much less necessary, to initiate two
different extents at the same time.(#
6.Xsc sm: This case cannot occur by the transcriber sequencing
rules; two indicators in those classes should always be
written in the order sm sc. (#
7.Xsc sl: The reasoning is similar to case 6.(#
8.Xsm ge: The reasoning is the same as case 1.(#
9.Xsm gw: The reasoning is the same as case 1.(#
10.Xsm au: Because class sm symbols always end with at least one
dots 5-6 character, and class au always begin with a dot 6,
the "stop when the dots drop" rule would terminate the sm
symbol at the proper point.(#
11.Xsm aw: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#'B0*((Ԍ12.Xsm sc: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#
13.Xsm sm: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#
14.Xsm sl: The reasoning is similar to case 6.(#
15.Xsl ge: The reasoning is the same as case 1.(#
16.Xsl gw: The reasoning is the same as case 1.(#
17.Xsl au: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#
18.Xsl aw: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#
19.Xsl sc: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#
20.Xsl sm: The reasoning is similar to case 10.(#
21.Xsl sl: The reasoning is the same as case 5.(#
hC0*((
?%APPENDIX B
?X
MAJOR ALTERNATIVES CONSIDEREDă
The committees working on the Unified Code Project are required
to give reasons for every recommendation, and we have endeavored
to do that throughout the main presentation. Sometimes those
reasons mention alternatives that were rejected in favor of the
recommendation, but those tend to be the minor alternatives that
are still easily related to a particular decision that simply
went the other way. However, in the case of certain major courses
of action that were considered, the effect of choosing a
particular course has been so pervasive that it is difficult to
put the reasons for the choice next to any particular
recommendation, and so we put them here.
These are only summaries, as it would be impractical to try to
cover all the points made in debates that were sometimes quite
spirited and protracted.
?0British Maths: The British mathematics code (Ref. 89a) is a
well-developed system that is regarded as integrated with the
literary code, which in turn is essentially the same as the
American literary code. An obvious first idea, therefore, would
be simply to adopt that code as an extension of the American
literary code, in the process happily joining the entirety of
both codes. However, upon an examination of the British maths
code, it became quickly apparent that the code was designed with
goals and assumptions that differed greatly from those that, by
reason of the charge to our committee, we had to live by.
Specifically:
(1)XThe British maths code does not adhere to a single-symbol
concept as it sometimes has numbers "up" and sometimes
"down" (a topic in itself that is discussed further below).(#
(2)XIt artificially alters spacing to avoid symbol conflicts.(#
(3)XIt lacks any apparent basic plan to assure symbol extent
recognition.(#
(4)XIt uses the letter sign with certain lower signs for common
mathematical operators, whereas we wanted those combinations
to reassert the "literal" meaning of those signs as
punctuation marks.(#
(5)XIt arbitrarily reuses symbols that have other meanings,
relying on human sensing of the mathematical context to
resolve the ambiguity; for example, the "much greater than"
symbol (two greater-than signs in print) is formally'D0*((indistinguishable from "oo". None of these observations is
meant to fault the design of the British maths code, which
is obviously based on the assumption that intelligent human
beings, with knowledge of the subject matter and a sense of
the context, are doing both the transcribing and the
reading. Those are reasonable assumptions for a prior
period of time, and they underlie all of the older math
codes; they do not, however, square with the needs of
automated bidirectional translation nor with several of the
other goals of the Unified Code Project, and so it was
necessary to set aside the possibility of simply adopting
the British code. This does not mean, though, that it would
not be quite valuable to draw what can be drawn from that
code as well as from the 1972 Nemeth code. The details of
such a process would naturally take place as the
mathematical symbols are defined, which is scheduled for
later.(#
?Numbers "Down": In a purely mathematical context, there are
cogent reasons for preferring to have the ten digits represented
by configurations in the lower cell instead of the upper cell as
is customary in literary braille. This is particularly the case
in contexts where literary punctuation is unlikely and digits and
letters are likely to be juxtaposed, as in algebraic expressions
involving the implicit multiplication of numeric constants and
letters standing for variables. In such cases, use of the lower
cell can allow both numeric indicators and letter signs to be
omitted, resulting in a more compact representation in braille.
For mathematics, compactness is somewhat more strongly related to
readability and overall usefulness, because mental and/or written
computation, that is manipulation of the symbols, is involved.
For those reasons, the 1972 Nemeth code uses lowered numbers, and
both the British and the Russian math codes use them in some
circumstances, e.g. in subscripts and superscripts, where
punctuation marks are particularly unlikely.
We therefore carefully considered the possibility of "lowering"
the digits, despite the concern that this might be perceived as a
"major" change to literary braille and therefore beyond our
charter. In fact, a small informal survey of braille suggested
that only about half of the readership felt strongly opposed to
lowering the digits as an issue in itself. The opposition
stiffened, however, and in the end our own opinion was formed,
when the additional consequences of lowering the digits were
considered. Principally, this would have involved either changes
to all the common punctuation marks, or the introduction of
indicators to deal with cases where numbers abut punctuation
marks. We found, in a small survey of literature with a
generally scientific orientation (Scientific American magazines),
that numbers were much more likely to abut punctuation, even
apart from the obvious decimal points and commas, than they were
to abut letters. Those facts convinced us that the overall best'E0*((solution for a Unified Code lay with the existing English Braille
and indeed worldwide custom of representing the digits in the
"up" position.
? Nums-lock: We were at considerable pains to make the
representation of numbers, and mathematical symbols generally,
more efficient. For a time, we considered a system called
"nums-lock", whereby a double number sign would introduce a mode
wherein a numeric prefix would be understood as governing each
symbol, much as capitals mode in effect prefixes a dot 6 to the
letters over its domain. This idea was eventually supplanted by
the literal mode, which accomplishes almost all of the same goals
by a method that is more easily related to an existing one (grade
1), and that employs a familiar symbol (the letter sign).
The suppression of the number sign would still obviously be
desirable for, say, dense collections of arithmetic exercises.
If a future committee wishes to address that desire, then
something like "nums-lock", perhaps better named "numeric literal
mode" and defined simply as a variant of literal mode, might be
considered. We, however, did not consider the matter important
enough to pursue at this time, when the more fundamental
structures of Unified Code are still taking shape.
?More and Fewer Prefixes: There was never any question that the
seven braille characters that have only right-hand dots would be
classified as prefixes, but there was some controversy over the
inclusion of the number sign, which of course has a left-hand dot
and therefore could have played a role as a "strong root". There
were three main reasons for including the number sign among the
prefixes:
(1)XWithin a particular symbol length, such as the three
characters we have generally been using, the number of
available symbols is greatly increased by having more
prefixes even at the expense of roots (at least up to a
theoretical optimum number, which in any event is too large
to consider because it would too greatly affect the braille
system).(#
(2)XWe judged that the term "prefix" need not imply just
right-hand dots, but rather an historical use of the symbol
in a precursor capacity, which is certainly true of the
number sign.(#
(3)XThere is essentially no loss of traditional symbols by
classifying the number sign as a prefix; even the "ble"
contraction would have needed changes anyway to avoid
ambiguity problems.(#
On the other side, reason (1) from the above paragraph caused us
to consider adding other symbols to the list of prefixes, but in'F0*((Ԍthe end every one seemed to have an existing or better use as a
root. Since we judged that the number of available symbols was
at an adequate level, we stopped at the eight listed.
G0*((
?%REFERENCESă
72a. American Association of Workers for the Blind &c. (compiling
authority). The Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science
Notation, 1972 Revision. American Printing House for the Blind,
P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085, 1972. (An
official BANA code.)
75a. All-Russia Association of the Blind (VOS). A System of
Braille Notation on Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Chemistry
(a manual Parts I and II). VOS, Moscow, 1975; translated from
the Russian by Levit, M.A. and Etkina, L.I.
77a. American Association of Workers for the Blind &c. (compiling
authority). Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques,
1977. American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville,
Kentucky, 1977. (An official BANA code.)
84a. Abraham Nemeth, Ph.D. Monograph on The Nemeth Unified Code
for Mathematics, Science and Computer Notation. Unpublished,
1984.
87a. Braille Authority of North America (compiling authority).
Code for Computer Braille Notation. American Printing House for
the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085, 1987.
(An official BANA code.)
89a. Braille Authority of the United Kingdom, Mathematics
Committee. Braille Mathematics Notation, 1987. The Royal
National Institute for the Blind, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate,
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE2 0XU, 1989. (An official BAUK
code.)
90a. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) and National Library Service for the Blind
and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS). World
Braille Usage. NLS, Washington, D.C. 1990.
91a. American Association of Workers for the Blind &c. (compiling
authority). English Braille American Edition, 1959 (with
revisions and addenda through October 1991). American Printing
House for the Blind, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, Kentucky
40206-0085, 1991. (An official BANA code.)
91b. The Unicode Consortium. The Unicode Standard, Worldwide
Character Encoding, Version 1.0, Volume 1. Addison-Wesley
Publishing, Reading, MA, 1991.
91c. International Council on English Braille (ICEB), Study
Group J. Print Symbols; Report for May 1991 Conference.'H0*((Ԍ(Accompanying letter to group members from Stephen Phippen,
chairman, dated 11 December 1991).