- Brahmic family of alphabets
History of the alphabet
Proto-Sinaitic script? 19 c. BCE
Meroitic 3 c. BCEOgham 4 c. CEHangul 1443Zhuyin (Bopomofo) 1913
- Ugaritic 15 c. BCE
- Proto-Canaanite 14 c. BCE
- Phoenician 12 c. BCE
- Greek 8 c. BCE
- Aramaic 8 c. BCE
- Kharoṣṭhī 6 c. BCE
- Brāhmī & Indic 6 c. BCE
- Hebrew 3 c. BCE
- Thaana 4 c. BCE
- Pahlavi 3 c. BCE
- Avestan 4 c. CE
- Palmyrene 2 c. BCE
- Syriac 2 c. BCE
- Mandaic 2 c. CE
- Paleohispanic 7 c. BCE
- Paleo-Hebrew 10 c. BCE
- Samaritan 6 c. BCE
- Phoenician 12 c. BCE
- Epigraphic South Arabian 9 c. BCE
- Ge’ez 5–6 c. BCE
- Meitei Mayek
- Anga Script
- Tamil Brahmi
- Pallava Grantha
- Bhattiprolu Script
- Tai Le
- New Tai Lue
The Brahmic or Indic scripts are a family of abugida (alphabetic-syllabary) writing systems. They are used throughout South Asia (incuding Pakistan and Afghanistan), Southeast Asia, and parts of Central and East Asia, and are descended from the Brāhmī script of the ancient Indian subcontinent. They are used by languages of several language families: Indo-European, Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman, Mongolic[example needed], Austro-Asiatic, Austronesian, Tai, and possibly influenced Korean (hangul). They were also the source of the dictionary order of Japanese kana.
Brahmic scripts are descended from the Brahmi script. Brahmi is clearly attested from the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ashoka, who used the script for imperial edicts, but there are some recent finds of earlier epigraphy in Tamil-Brahmi writing found on pottery in South India and Sri Lanka, dating back to the 6th century BCE or even earlier[dubious ]. Northern Brahmi gave rise to the Gupta script during the Gupta period, which in turn diversified into a number of cursives during the Middle Ages, including Siddham, Sharada and Nagari.
The Siddham script was especially important in Buddhism, as many sutras were written in it. The art of Siddham calligraphy survives today in Japan. The syllabic nature and dictionary order of the modern kana system of Japanese writing is believed to be descended from the Indic scripts, most likely through the spread of Buddhism.
Bhattiprolu was a great centre of Buddhism during 3rd century BCE and from where Buddhism spread to east Asia. The present Telugu script is derived from Bhattiprolu Script or 'Kannada-Telugu script', also known as 'old Kannada script', owing to its similarity to the same.
Initially, minor changes were made which is now called Tamil brahmi which has far fewer letters than some of the other Indic scripts as it has no separate aspirated or voiced consonants. Later under the influence of Granta vetteluthu evolved which looks similar to present day Malayalam script. Still further changes were made in 19th and 20th centuries to make use of printing and typewriting needs before we have the present script.
Some characteristics, which may not be present in all the scripts, are:
- Each consonant has an inherent vowel which is usually short 'a' (in Bengali, and Assamese, it is short 'ô' due to sound shifts). Other vowels are written by adding to the character. A mark, known in Sanskrit as a virama/halant can be used to indicate the absence of an inherent vowel.
- Each vowel has two forms, an independent form when not part of a consonant, and a dependent form, when attached to a consonant. Depending on the script, the dependent forms can be either placed to the left of, to the right of, above, below, or on both the left and the right sides of the base consonant.
- Consonants (up to 4 in Devanagari) can be combined in ligatures. Special marks are added to denote the combination of 'r' with another consonant.
- Nasalization and aspiration of a consonant's dependent vowel is also noted by separate signs.
- The traditional ordering can be summarized as follows: vowels, velar consonants, palatal consonants, retroflex consonants, dental consonants, bilabial consonants, approximants, sibilants, and other consonants. Each consonant grouping had four consonants (with all four possible values of voicing and aspiration), and a nasalised consonant.
Below are comparison charts of several of the major Indic scripts; transliteration is indicated in ISO 15919; pronunciation is indicated in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Pronunciation is taken from Sanskrit where possible, but other languages where necessary. These lists are not comprehensive; some glyphs are unrepresented. Some pronunciations may be inaccurate or different from the ones listed, partly because the graphemically corresponding glyphs listed in the same column are not necessarily phonetically identical.
ISO k kh g gh ṅ c ch j jh ñ ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ t th d dh n ṉ p ph b bh m y r ṟ l ḷ ḻ v ś ṣ s h IPA k kʰ ɡ ɡʱ ŋ c cʰ ɟ ɟʱ ɲ ʈ ʈʰ ɖ ɖʱ ɳ t̪ t̪ʰ d̪ d̪ʱ n̪ n p pʰ b bʱ m j r ɾ l ɭ ɻ ʋ ʃ ʂ s ɦ Oriya କ ଖ ଗ ଘ ଙ ଚ ଛ ଜ ଝ ଞ ଟ ଠ ଡ ଢ ଣ ତ ଥ ଦ ଧ ନ ନ଼ ପ ଫ ବ ଭ ମ ୟ ର ର଼ ଲ ଳ ଳ଼ ୱ ଶ ଷ ସ ହ E. Nagari ক খ গ ঘ ঙ চ ছ জ ঝ ঞ ট ঠ ড ঢ ণ ত থ দ ধ ন প ফ ব ভ ম য র/ৰ ল ৱ শ ষ স হ Devanagari क ख ग घ ङ च छ ज झ ञ ट ठ ड ढ ण त थ द ध न ऩ प फ ब भ म य र ऱ ल ळ ऴ व श ष स ह Gujarati ક ખ ગ ઘ ઙ ચ છ જ ઝ ઞ ટ ઠ ડ ઢ ણ ત થ દ ધ ન પ ફ બ ભ મ ય ર લ ળ વ શ ષ સ હ Gurmukhi ਕ ਖ ਗ ਘ ਙ ਚ ਛ ਜ ਝ ਞ ਟ ਠ ਡ ਢ ਣ ਤ ਥ ਦ ਧ ਨ ਪ ਫ ਬ ਭ ਮ ਯ ਰ ਲ ਲ਼ ਵ ਸ਼ ਸ ਹ Tibetan ཀ ཁ ག ང ཅ ཆ ཇ ཉ ཊ ཋ ཌ ཎ ཏ ཐ ད ན པ ཕ བ མ ཡ ར ལ ཝ ཤ ཥ ས ཧ Brahmi Telugu క ఖ గ ఘ ఙ చ ఛ జ ఝ ఞ ట ఠ డ ఢ ణ త థ ద ధ న ప ఫ బ భ మ య ర ఱ ల ళ వ శ ష స హ Kannada ಕ ಖ ಗ ಘ ಙ ಚ ಛ ಜ ಝ ಞ ಟ ಠ ಡ ಢ ಣ ತ ಥ ದ ಧ ನ ಪ ಫ ಬ ಭ ಮ ಯ ರ ಱ ಲ ಳ ೞ ವ ಶ ಷ ಸ ಹ Sinhala ක ඛ ග ඝ ඞ ච ඡ ජ ඣ ඤ ට ඨ ඩ ඪ ණ ත ථ ද ධ න ප ඵ බ භ ම ය ර ල ළ ව ශ ෂ ස හ Malayalam ക ഖ ഗ ഘ ങ ച ഛ ജ ഝ ഞ ട ഠ ഡ ഢ ണ ത ഥ ദ ധ ന പ ഫ ബ ഭ മ യ ര റ ല ള ഴ വ ശ ഷ സ ഹ Tamil க ங ச ஜ ஞ ட ண த ந ன ப ம ய ர ற ல ள ழ வ ஶ ஷ ஸ ஹ Burmese က ခ ဂ ဃ င စ ဆ ဇ ဈ ဉ/ည ဋ ဌ ဍ ဎ ဏ တ ထ ဒ ဓ န ပ ဖ ဗ ဘ မ ယ ရ လ ဠ ၔ ဝ ၐ ၑ သ ဟ Khmer ក ខ គ ឃ ង ច ឆ ជ ឈ ញ ដ ឋ ឌ ឍ ណ ត ថ ទ ធ ន ប ផ ព ភ ម យ រ ល ឡ វ ឝ ឞ ស ហ Thai ก ข ค ฆ ง จ ฉ ช ฌ ญ ฏ ฐ ฑ ฒ ณ ต ถ ท ธ น ป ผ พ ภ ม ย ร ล ฬ ว ศ ษ ส ห Lao ກ ຂ ຄ ງ ຈ ຊ ຍ ຕ ຖ ທ ນ ປ ຜ ຟ ພ ມ ຢ ຣ ລ ວ ສ ຫ Balinese ᬓ ᬔ ᬕ ᬖ ᬗ ᬘ ᬙ ᬚ ᬛ ᬜ ᬝ ᬞ ᬟ ᬠ ᬡ ᬢ ᬣ ᬤ ᬥ ᬦ ᬧ ᬨ ᬩ ᬪ ᬫ ᬬ ᬭ ᬮ ᬯ ᬰ ᬱ ᬲ ᬳ Baybayin ᜃ ᜄ ᜅ ᜆ ᜇ ᜈ ᜉ ᜊ ᜋ ᜌ ᜇ ᜎ ᜐ ᜑ
Vowels are presented in their independent form on the left of each column, and in their corresponding dependent form (vowel sign) combined with the consonant k on the right. A glyph for ka is an independent consonant letter itself without any vowel sign, where the vowel a is inherent.
Note: Glyphs for r̥̄, l̥, l̥̄ and a few other glyphs are obsolete or very rarely used.
English 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Oriya ୦ ୧ ୨ ୩ ୪ ୫ ୬ ୭ ୮ ୯ E. Nagari ০ ১ ২ ৩ ৪ ৫ ৬ ৭ ৮ ৯ Devanagari ० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९ Gujarati ૦ ૧ ૨ ૩ ૪ ૫ ૬ ૭ ૮ ૯ Gurmukhi ੦ ੧ ੨ ੩ ੪ ੫ ੬ ੭ ੮ ੯ Tibetan ༠ ༡ ༢ ༣ ༤ ༥ ༦ ༧ ༨ ༩ Brahmi Telugu ౦ ౧ ౨ ౩ ౪ ౫ ౬ ౭ ౮ ౯ Kannada ೦ ೧ ೨ ೩ ೪ ೫ ೬ ೭ ೮ ೯ Malayalam ൦ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮ ൯ Tamil ೦ ௧ ௨ ௩ ௪ ௫ ௬ ௭ ௮ ௯ Burmese ၀ ၁ ၂ ၃ ၄ ၅ ၆ ၇ ၈ ၉ Khmer ០ ១ ២ ៣ ៤ ៥ ៦ ៧ ៨ ៩ Thai ๐ ๑ ๒ ๓ ๔ ๕ ๖ ๗ ๘ ๙ Lao ໐ ໑ ໒ ໓ ໔ ໕ ໖ ໗ ໘ ໙ Balinese ᭐ ᭑ ᭒ ᭓ ᭔ ᭕ ᭖ ᭗ ᭘ ᭙ Javanese ꧐ ꧑ ꧒ ꧓ ꧔ ꧕ ꧖ ꧗ ꧘ ꧙
List of Brahmic scripts
Scripts derived from Brahmi.
The Brahmi script was already divided into regional variants at the time of the earliest surviving epigraphy around the 3rd century BCE. Cursives of the Brahmi script began to diversify further from around the 5th century CE and continued to give rise to new scripts throughout the Middle Ages. The main division in antiquity was between northern and southern Brahmi. In the northern group, the Gupta script was very influential, and in the southern group the Grantha and Old-Kannada Scripts with the spread of Hinduism spread Brahmic scripts throughout Southeast Asia.
- Northern Brahmic
- Anga Lipi, 6th century BCE
- Gupta script, 5th century
- Mithilakshar, 15th century
- Southern Brahmi (Tamil Brahmi, Kalinga, Bhattiprolu), 7th century BCE
- Tocharian script ("Slanting Brahmi"), 7th century
- Ahom, 13th century
- Tai Tham (Lanna), 14th century
- Meeitei Mayek
script derivation period of derivation usage notes ISO 15924 Unicode range sample Anga Lipi Brahmi 6th century BCE Angika U+0900–U+097F देवनागरी Balinese Old Kawi 11th century Balinese language Bali U+1B00–U+1B7F ᬅᬓ᭄ᬱᬭ ᬩᬮᬶ Baybayin Old Kawi 14th century Tagalog, other Philippine languages Tglg U+1700–U+171F ᜊᜌ᜔ᜊᜌᜒᜈ᜔ Buhid Old Kawi 14th century Buhid language Buhd U+1740–U+175F ᝊᝓᝑᝒᝇ Burmese Vatteluttu 11th century Burmese language, numerous modifications for other languages including Chakma, Eastern and Western Pwo Karen, Geba Karen, Kayah, Mon, Rumai Palaung, S'gaw Karen, Shan Mymr U+1000–U+109F မြန်မာအက္ခရာ Cham Vatteluttu 8th century Cham language Cham U+AA00–U+AA5F ꨌꨠ Devanagari Nagari 13th century Numerous Indo-Aryan languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Bhili, Konkani, Angika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, Kurukh, Nepal Bhasa and sometimes Sindhi and Kashmiri. Formerly used to write Gujarati. Sometimes used to write or transliterate Sherpa Deva U+0900–U+097F देवनागरी Eastern Nagari Nagari 11th century Assamese language (Assamese script variant), Bengali language (Bengali script variant), Bishnupriya Manipuri Beng U+0980–U+09FF অসমীয়া লিপি · বাংলা লিপি Gujarati Nagari 17th century Gujarati language, Kutchi language Gujr U+0A80–U+0AFF ગુજરાતી લિપિ Gurmukhi Sharada 16th century Punjabi language Guru U+0A00–U+0A7F ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ Hanunó'o Old Kawi 14th century Hanuno'o language Hano U+1720–U+173F ᜱᜨᜳᜨᜳᜢ Javanese Old Kawi 16th century Javanese language Java U+A980–U+A9DF ꦄꦏ꧀ꦱꦫ ꦗꦮ Kannada Kadamba 12th century Kannada language, others Knda U+0C80–U+0CFF ಕನ್ನಡ ಅಕ್ಷರಮಾಲೆ Khmer Vatteluttu 11th century Khmer language Khmr U+1780–U+17FF, U+19E0–U+19FF អក្សរខ្មែរ Lao Khmer 14th century Lao language, others Laoo U+0E80–U+0EFF ອັກສອນລາວ Lepcha Tibetan 18th century Lepcha language Lepc U+1C00–U+1C4F Limbu Lepcha 18th century Limbu language Limb U+1900–U+194F ᤛᤡᤖᤡᤈᤨᤅ Lontara Old Kawi 17th century Buginese language, others; mostly extinct, restricted to ceremonial use Bugi U+1A00–U+1A1F ᨒᨚᨈᨑ Malayalam Grantha 12th century Malayalam language, Konkani language Mlym U+0D00–U+0D7F മലയാളലിപി Oriya Kalinga 10th century Oriya language Orya U+0B00–U+0B7F ଉତ୍କଳାକ୍ଷର Rejang script Old Kawi 18th century Rejang language, mostly obsolete Rjng U+A930–U+A95F Saurashtra Grantha 20th century Saurashtra language, mostly obsolete Saur U+A880–U+A8DF Sinhala Grantha 12th century Sinhala language Sinh U+0D80–U+0DFF ශුද්ධ සිංහල Sundanese script Old Kawi 14th century Sundanese language Sund U+1B80–U+1BBF ᮃᮊ᮪ᮞᮛ ᮞᮥᮔ᮪ᮓ Tai Le Tai Lü language Tale U+1950–U+197F ᥖᥭᥰᥖᥬᥳᥑᥨᥒᥰ New Tai Lue Tai Tham 1950s Tai Lü language Talu U+1980-U+19DF ᦟᦲᧅ ᦷᦎ ᦺᦑ Tagbanwa Old Kawi 14th century various languages of Palawan, nearly extinct Tagb U+1760–U+177F ᝦᝪᝨᝯ Tamil Vatteluttu 8th century Tamil language Taml U+0B80–U+0BFF தமிழ் அரிச்சுவடி Telugu Old Kannada 13th century Telugu language Telu U+0C01–U+0C6F తెలుగు లిపి Thai Khmer 13th century Thai language Thai U+0E00–U+0E7F อักษรไทย Tibetan Siddham 8th century Tibetan language, Dzongkha language, Ladakhi language Tibt U+0F00–U+0FFF དབུ་ཅན་ Tai Viet Tai Dam language Tavt U+AA80–U+AADF ꪼꪕꪒꪾ
- ISCII — the coding scheme specifically designed to represent Indic scripts
- Indus script — the earliest writing system on the Indian subcontinent
- Devanagari transliteration
- ^ "Font: Japanese". Monotype Corporation. http://www.monotypefonts.com/Library/Non-Latin-Library.asp?show=info&lan=japanese. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- ^ Antiquity of Telugu and the script: http://www.hindu.com/2007/12/20/stories/2007122054820600.htm
- ^ Telugu Language and Literature, S. M. R. Adluri, Figures T1a and T1b: http://www.engr.mun.ca/~adluri/telugu/language/script/script1d.html
- Online Tool which supports Conversion between various Brahmic Scripts
- Windows Indic Script Support
- An Introduction to Indic Scripts
- South Asian Writing Systems
- Indian Transliterator A means to transliterate from romanized to Unicode Indian scripts.
- Imperial Brahmi Font and Text-Editor
- Brahmi Script
- IndiX: Indian Language support for the Linux Operating System
- Xlit: Tool for Transliteration between English and Indian Languages
- Padma: Transformer for Indic Scripts – a Firefox add-on
Writing systems Overview Lists Types Kawi family Members Related Types of writing systems Overview Lists Types Abjads Abugidas BrahmicAhom · Balinese · Batak · Baybayin · Brāhmī · Buhid · Burmese · Chakma · Cham · Devanāgarī · Dhives Akuru · Eastern Nagari · Grantha · Gujarati · Gupta · Gurmukhī · Hanunó'o · Javanese · Kadamba · Kaithi · Kalinga · Kannada · Khmer · Lanna · Lao · Lepcha · Limbu · Lontara · Malayalam · Meitei Mayek · Mithilakshar · Modi · Mon · Nāgarī · Nepali · Old Kawi · Oriya · Pallava · 'Phags-pa · Ranjana · Rejang · Rencong · Śāradā · Saurashtra · Sinhala · Siddhaṃ · Soyombo · Sundanese · Sylheti Nagari · Tagbanwa · Tai Dam · Tai Le · Takri · Tamil · Telugu · Thai · Tibetan · Tocharian · Varang Kshiti Others Alphabets LinearArmenian · Avestan · Beitha Kukju · Borama · Coptic · Cyrillic · Deseret · Duployan shorthand · Eclectic shorthand · Elbasan · Fraser · Gabelsberger shorthand · Georgian · Glagolitic · Gothic · Gregg shorthand · Greek · Greco-Iberian alphabet · Hangul · International Phonetic · Kaddare · Latin · Manchu · Mandaic · Mongolian · Neo-Tifinagh · N'Ko · Ogham · Ol Chiki · Old Hungarian · Old Italic · Old Permic · Orkhon · Osmanya · Runic · Shavian alphabet · New Tai Lue · Bassa Vah · Visible Speech Non-linear Ideo/Pictograms Logograms Chinese Chinese-based Other logo-syllabic Logo-consonantal Numerals Semi-syllabaries Full Redundant Syllabaries
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