- Cham script
Infobox Writing system
unicode= [http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/UAA00.pdf U+AA00–U+AA5F]
The Cham script is an
abugidaused to write Cham, an Austronesian language spoken by the Cham peoplein Vietnamand Cambodia. Cham has about 230,000 speakers.
The Cham script is one of the first scripts to develop from the latter southern
Brahmi alphabetcalled Vatteluttuof South India, beginning by 200 AD. It is written horizontally, and left to right, as in English. There are numerous spelling rules that make learning to use the script daunting (Blood 2008).
The Cham now live in two isolated groups: Western Cham in Cambodia, and Eastern Cham in Vietnam. Each uses a distinct variety of the script, although the former are mostly
Muslim(Trankell & Ovesen 2004) and now prefer to use the Arabic alphabet. The latter are mostly Hindu, and still use their own script. During French colonial times, both groups had to use the Latin alphabet.
The script is highly valued in Cham culture, but this does not mean that many people are learning it. There have been efforts to simplify the spelling and to promote learning the script, but these have met with limited success (Blood 1980a,b, 2008, Brunelle 2008).
Cham in Unicode
Unicoderange for Cham is U+AA00 .. U+AA5F. Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points.
*Blood, Doris (1980a). Cham literacy: the struggle between old and new (a case study). "Notes on Literacy" 12, 6-9.
*Blood, Doris (1980b). The script as a cohesive factor in Cham society. In "Notes from Indochina", Marilyn Gregersen and Dorothy Thomas (eds.), 35-44. Dallas: International Museum of Cultures.
*Blood, Doris E. 2008. The ascendancy of the Cham script: how a literacy workshop became the catalyst. "International Journal of the Sociology of Language" 192:45-56.
*Brunell, Marc. 2008. Diglossia, Bilingualism, and the Revitalization of Written Eastern Cham. "Language Documentation and Conservation" 2.1: 28-46. (Web based journal)
*Moussay, Gerard (1971). "Dictionnaire Cam-Vietnamien-Français". Phan Rang: Centre Culturel Cam.
*Trankell, Ing-Britt and Jan Ovesen (2004). Muslim minorities in Cambodia. NIASnytt 4, 22-24. (Also on Web)
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/cham.htm Omniglot Entry on Cham]
* [http://www.proel.org/alfabetos/cham.html more info on Cham alphabet (in Spanish)]
* [http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/1848 Brunelle's article]
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