Duployan shorthand

The Duployan shorthand, or Duployan stenography (French: Sténographie Duployé), was created by Father Émile Duployé in 1860 for writing French. Since then, it has been expanded and adapted for writing English, German, Spanish, Romanian, and Chinook Jargon.[1] The Duployan stenography is classified as a geometric, alphabetic, stenography and is written left-to-right in connected stenographic style. The Duployan shorthands, including Chinook writing, Pernin's Universal Phonography, Perrault's English Shorthand, the Sloan-Duployan Modern Shorthand, and Romanian stenography, were included as a single script in version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard / ISO 10646[1][2][3]

Duployan shorthand
light-line geometric stenographic alphabet
LanguagesFrench, English, German, Spanish, Romanian, Chinook Jargon, Lillooet, Thompson, Okanagan
CreatorÉmile Duployé
1868 (Pernin: 1877; Sloan: 1883; Ellis: 1888; LeJeune: 1891)
Statushistoric and hobbyist usage
Child systems
Malone's Script Phonography
ISO 15924Dupl, 755
Unicode alias
U+1BC00–U+1BC9F Duployan
U+1BCA0–U+1BCAF Shorthand Format Controls
Final Accepted Script Proposal

Typology and structureEdit

Duployan is classified as a geometric stenography, in that the prototype for letterforms are based on lines and circles, instead of ellipses. It is alphabetic, with both consonant and vowel signs in equal prominence. Writing is in a left-to-right direction, proceeding down the page, as in common European writing. Most Duployan letters will attach to adjacent letters, allowing a word (or words) to be written in a single stroke, without lifting the pen.[1]


Consonant characters come in two basic styles: line consonants and arc consonants. All consonants have a shape, size, and stroke direction that do not change based on the surrounding characters. Both types of consonants are contrasted by orientation, length, and the presence of ancillary dots and dashes on or near the letter.

The line consonants come in five orientations: vertical, horizontal, left-to-right falling, left-to-right rising, and right-to-left falling; and in three lengths: short, long, and extended. Variations of some line consonants will have dots adjacent to the center of the line.

Arc consonants come in two arc lengths: half circle, and quarter circle. The half circle arcs have four orientations: left, right, top, and bottom half; and two lengths: regular and extended. Variations of the half circle arc consonants have dots inside and outside of the bowl, and dashes across the middle. The quarter arc consonants also have four orientations corresponding to the four quadrants of a circle, with both upwards and downwards strokes, and come in regular and extended lengths. The only variant quarter arc consonant is the addition of a dot (Duployan letter H) to the Duployan letter W to make the Duployan letter Wh.[1]

Émile Duployé


Vowels characters also come in two basic styles: circle vowels, and orienting vowels. Vowels have only a general shape and size, but their orientation and exact appearance are usually dictated by the adjacent characters.

Circle vowels are written by creating a loop that starts from the preceding character acting as a tangent, continuing around the circle until reaching the tangent point of the following character, at which point the following letterform is written, with the two adjacent characters crossing to complete the "circle". Variants of the circle vowels have dots in the middle of the circle, or a protuberance in from the circle. Circle vowels may also take standard diacritic marks when used to write some languages.

Some circle vowels

Orienting vowels are written by rotating the vowel to match the incoming angle of the preceding character, then mirrored along the axis of that character to avoid the following character crossing. They come in two varieties, defined by whether they will tend toward the right or left if the adjacent characters will allow either. Nasal vowels are considered a special case of an orienting vowel, and will act as orienting vowels, except in the Chinook script, where nasals can appear as diacritics.[1]

Affixes and word signsEdit

Many Duployan shorthands use small unattached marks, as well as various crossing and touching strokes, as markers for common prefixes and suffixes. Individual letters and letterlike symbols are also used in many Duployan shorthands to stand for common words and phrases. Overlapping two or more letters and signs can be used in some shorthands as word signs and abbreviations.[1]


Most Duployan scripts do not make use of true ligatures that are not just one of its constituent letters with a distinguishing mark. The Romanian stenography is fairly unusual in having a number of vowel ligatures, especially with the Romanian U.[1]

Connecting lettersEdit

Most Duployan letters cursively connect to any adjacent letters. Circle vowels will sometimes reduce to as small as a semi-circle in order to accommodate the incoming and outgoing strokes of adjacent letters, and orienting vowels will rotate to meet the preceding letter at a straight angle, while mirroring to present themselves to the following letter.

  +   +   =  
P + A + T = pat
  +   +   =   * E would normally sit on the left side of P, except that it must sit on the right to join with the T.
P + E + T = pet
  +   +   +   =  
J + A + I + N = shine
  +   +   +   +   +   =  
P + E + Lh + T + E + N = pelten (Chinook)

Alphabetical orderEdit

Duployan does not have a widely agreed alphabetical order. A precursory order for the alphabet has been invented for the Unicode script proposal, however; and this order can basically be found in the order of the Unicode allocation (see Table of characters). This order places consonants before vowels, with similar type and size letters grouped roughly together.

Table of charactersEdit

This table lists the characters used in all of the Duployan shorthands along with their Unicode code points.[4][5] A basic alphabetization can be derived from the order of the letters. Letters with a name otherwise identical to a more universal letter will have a parenthetical denoting its shorthand of use: (Per) for Pernin's Universal Phonography, (Rom) for Romanian stenography, and (Sl) for Sloan-Duployan shorthand.

Spacing and line consonantsEdit

spacing consonants short line consonants
Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter
Name Name Name Name Name Name Name
1BC00   1BC01   1BC02   1BC03   1BC04   1BC05   1BC06  
long line consonants extended line consonants
1BC07   1BC08   1BC09   1BC0A   1BC0B   1BC0C   1BC0D   1BC0E   1BC0F   1BC10  
variant line consonants
1BC11   1BC12   1BC13   1BC14   1BC15   1BC16   1BC17   1BC18  
Th Dh (Sl) Dh Kk J (Sl) hL Lh Rh

Arc consonantsEdit

half arc consonants half arc consonants (cross variants)
Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter
Name Name Name Name Name Name Name Name
1BC19   1BC1A   1BC1B   1BC1C   1BC1D   1BC1E   1BC1F   1BC20  
half arc consonants (dotted variants) large variant half arc consonants
1BC21   1BC22   1BC23   1BC24   1BC25   1BC26   1BC2F   1BC30   1BC31  
M + dot N + dot J + dot J + dots S + dot S + dot below JS + dot JN JNS
large half arc consonants large half arc consonants (cross variants)
1BC27   1BC28   1BC29   1BC2A   1BC2B   1BC2C   1BC2D   1BC2E  
downslope quarter arc consonants large downslope quarter arc consonants
1BC32   1BC33   1BC34   1BC35   1BC36   1BC37   1BC38   1BC39   1BC3A  
upslope quarter arc consonants large upslope quarter arc consonants
1BC3B   1BC3C   1BC3D   1BC3E   1BC3F   1BC40  


circle vowels I / E
Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter Code Letter
Name Name Name Name Name Name Name
1BC41   1BC42   1BC43   1BC44   1BC45   1BC46   1BC47  
A Ow (Sl) OA O Aou I E
non-orienting I/E variants I/E variants
1BC48   1BC49   1BC4A   1BC4B   1BC4C   1BC4D   1BC4E   1BC4F   1BC50  
Ie short I Ui Ee Eh (Sl) I (Rom) Ee (Sl) Long I Ye
quarter circle vowels Other 'U' vowels
1BC51   1BC52   1BC53   1BC54   1BC55   1BC56   1BC57   1BC58   1BC59  
U Eu Xw / Uh UN Long U U (Rom) Uh U (Sl) Ooh
dotted circle vowels compound W-vowels
1BC5A   1BC5B   1BC5C   1BC5D   1BC5E   1BC5F   1BC60  
Ow Ou Wa Wo Wi Wei Wow
basic nasal vowels variant nasal vowels
1BC61   1BC62   1BC63   1BC64   1BC65   1BC66   1BC67   1BC68   1BC69   1BC6A  
Un On In An An (Per) Am (Per) En (Sl) An (Sl) On (Sl) uM

Affixes, marks, punctuation, and othersEdit

invariant attached affixes
Code Affix Code Affix Code Affix Code Affix Code Affix Code Affix
1BC70   1BC71   1BC72   1BC73   1BC74   1BC75  
orienting attached affixes
1BC76   1BC77   1BC78   1BC79   1BC7A   1BC7B   1BC7C  
high affixes
1BC80   1BC81   1BC82   1BC83   1BC84   1BC85   1BC86   1BC87   1BC88  
low affixes
1BC90   1BC91   1BC92   1BC93   1BC94   1BC95   1BC96   1BC97   1BC98   1BC99  
Other marks and symbols
Code Symbol Code Symbol Code Symbol
Name Name Name
1BC9C   1BC9E   1BC9F  
Chinook Likalisti (eucharist) sign Double Mark Chinook punctuation mark
Invisible Unicode format characters
Code Name Code Name Code Name Code Name Code Name
1BC9D Duployan Thick
Letter Selector
1BCA0 Shorthand Format
Letter Overlap
1BCA1 Shorthand Format
Continuing Overlap
1BCA2 Shorthand Format
Down Step
1BCA3 Shorthand Format
Up Step

French DuployanEdit

The use of French Duployan shorthand has historically been heavier in areas of southern France and Switzerland, with the Prévost-Delaunay and Aimé-Paris shorthands more common in northern France and the Paris area.

French Duployan makes use of an extensive list of letter words, combined consonants, and affix marks, but does not cross letters to make abbreviations. Like most European shorthands, French Duployan omits vowels that can be guessed by a fluent speaker.[6][7]

Chinook writingEdit

Introduction to the Wawa shorthand

The Chinook writing, or Wawa shorthand, or Chinuk pipa, was developed by Father Jean-Marie-Raphaël Le Jeune in the early 1890s for writing in Chinook Jargon, Lillooet, Thompson, Okanagan, and English, with the intended purpose of bringing literacy and church teaching to the first nations in the Catholic Diocese of Kamloops. The result was three decades' publication of the Chinook Jargon language Kamloops Wawa.[8]

The Chinook writing is notable by the absence of affixes and word signs, the phonological rigor – vowels were not omitted, even when predictable – and its use of W-vowels. Chinook writing is also notable in splitting a word into nominally syllabic units as well as using the only non-joining consonant characters in Duployan.[9][10]

Romanian stenographyEdit

The Romanian stenography was developed by Margaretta Sfințescu in the 1980s. Like French Duployan, Romanian stenography uses a large number of affix marks and word signs.[11]

English shorthandsEdit

Several adaptations of Duployan were developed for writing English, including those by Helen Pernin, J. Matthew Sloan, Denis Perrault, Carl Brandt, and George Galloway. The Pernin, Perrault, and Sloan shorthands are distinguished from other Duployan shorthands by the presence of the quarter-arc compound consonants. They also make use of affix marks, and omit redundant vowels.[12][13][14] Galloway and Brandt shorthands are not included in the Duployan Unicode proposal.[1]

Unlike other Duployan shorthands, Sloan-Duployan uses a thick, or heavy, stroke to indicate the addition of an "R" sound to a letter. Although not found in the other Duployan shorthands, contrastive thick and thin strokes are common in other shorthands, such as Pitman shorthand, where a heavy stroke would indicate a voiced consonant, and thin the unvoiced version of the same consonant.[12]


Duployan shorthand was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1BC0x 𛰀 𛰁 𛰂 𛰃 𛰄 𛰅 𛰆 𛰇 𛰈 𛰉 𛰊 𛰋 𛰌 𛰍 𛰎 𛰏
U+1BC1x 𛰐 𛰑 𛰒 𛰓 𛰔 𛰕 𛰖 𛰗 𛰘 𛰙 𛰚 𛰛 𛰜 𛰝 𛰞 𛰟
U+1BC2x 𛰠 𛰡 𛰢 𛰣 𛰤 𛰥 𛰦 𛰧 𛰨 𛰩 𛰪 𛰫 𛰬 𛰭 𛰮 𛰯
U+1BC3x 𛰰 𛰱 𛰲 𛰳 𛰴 𛰵 𛰶 𛰷 𛰸 𛰹 𛰺 𛰻 𛰼 𛰽 𛰾 𛰿
U+1BC4x 𛱀 𛱁 𛱂 𛱃 𛱄 𛱅 𛱆 𛱇 𛱈 𛱉 𛱊 𛱋 𛱌 𛱍 𛱎 𛱏
U+1BC5x 𛱐 𛱑 𛱒 𛱓 𛱔 𛱕 𛱖 𛱗 𛱘 𛱙 𛱚 𛱛 𛱜 𛱝 𛱞 𛱟
U+1BC6x 𛱠 𛱡 𛱢 𛱣 𛱤 𛱥 𛱦 𛱧 𛱨 𛱩 𛱪
U+1BC7x 𛱰 𛱱 𛱲 𛱳 𛱴 𛱵 𛱶 𛱷 𛱸 𛱹 𛱺 𛱻 𛱼
U+1BC8x 𛲀 𛲁 𛲂 𛲃 𛲄 𛲅 𛲆 𛲇 𛲈
U+1BC9x 𛲐 𛲑 𛲒 𛲓 𛲔 𛲕 𛲖 𛲗 𛲘 𛲙 𛲜 DT
𛲞 𛲟
1.^ As of Unicode version 12.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points
Shorthand Format Controls[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1BCAx  𛲠   𛲡   𛲢   𛲣 
1.^ As of Unicode version 12.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Anderson, Van (2010-09-24). "N3895: Proposal to include Duployan script and Shorthand Format Controls in UCS" (PDF).
  2. ^ Anderson, Van; Michael Everson (2011-05-30). "Resolving chart and collation order for the Duployan script" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Resolutions of WG 2 meeting 58" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  4. ^ "Duployan, Range: 1BC00–1BC9F" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. Unicode Consortium. 2016.
  5. ^ "Shorthand Format Controls, Range: 1BCA0–1BCAF" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. Unicode Consortium. 2016.
  6. ^ Hautefeuille and Ramaude. Cours de Sténographie Duployé Fondamentale.
  7. ^ "Stenographie Integrale" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-04-19.
  8. ^ LeJeune, Jean Marie. "How the Shorthand was Introduced among the Indians".
  9. ^ LeJeune, Jean Marie Raphael. "Chinook Rudiments". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09.
  10. ^ LeJeune, Jean Marie Raphael. "Kamloops Wawa".
  11. ^ Sfinţescu, Margaretta (1984). Curs De Stenografie.
  12. ^ a b Sloan, J.M. (1882). Modern Shorthand. the Sloan-Duployan Phonographic Instructor. Ramsgate, England; St. John's, NL; Brisbane, QLD.
  13. ^ Perrault, Denis R. (1918). Perrault-Duployan Complete Elementary Course of Stenography in Six Lessons. Montreal.
  14. ^ Pernin, Helen M. (1902). Pernin's Universal Phonography. Detroit, MI.