S'gaw Karen alphabet

The Karen script (S'gaw Karen: ကညီလံာ်ခီၣ်ထံး pronounced [knyɔlikhɔthi]) is an abugida used for writing Karen. It was derived from the Burmese script in the early 19th century, and ultimately from either the Kadamba or Pallava alphabet of South India. The S'gaw Karen alphabet is also used for the liturgical languages of Pali and Sanskrit.

S'gaw Karen
ကညီလံာ်ခီၣ်ထံး
Type
LanguagesS'gaw Karen language
Time period
1830–present
Parent systems
DirectionLeft-to-right
ISO 15924Mymr, 350
Unicode alias
Myanmar

Alphabet

The Karen alphabet was created by American missionary Jonathan Wade in the 1830s, based on the S'gaw Karen language; Wade was assisted by a Karen named Paulah.

The consonants and most of the vowels are adopted from the Burmese alphabet; however the Karen pronunciation of the letters is slightly different from that of the Burmese alphabet. Since Karen has more tones than Burmese, additional tonal markers were added.

The script is taught in the refugee camps in Thailand and in Kayin State.

Grouped consonants
က
k (kaˀ)

kh (kʰaˀ)

gh (ɣ)

x (x)

ng (ŋ)

s (s)

hs ()

sh (ʃ)

ny (ɲ)

t (t)

hṭ ()

d (d)

n (n)

p (p)

hp ()

b (b)

m (m)

y (ʝ)

r (r)

l (l)

w (w)

th (θ)

h (h)

vowel holder (ʔ)

ahh
Vowels

ah (a)

ee (i)

uh (ɤ)

u (ɯ)

oo (u)

ae or ay (e)

eh (æ)

oh (o)

aw (ɔ)
Tones S'gaw Karen
rising ၢ်
falling ာ်
mid
high ၣ်
low
Medials S'gaw Karen
ှ (hg)
ၠ (y)
ြ (r)
ျ (l)
ွ (w)
Number S'gaw Karen
Numeral Written IPA Pronouce
0 ဝး wa wah
1 တၢ tuh
2 ခံ kʰi khee
3 သၢ θɤ thuh
4 လွံၢ် lwi lwee
5 ယဲၢ် yeh
6 ဃု xu
7 နွံ nwi nwee
8 ဃိး xo xoh
9 ခွံ kʰ i khwee
10 ၁၀ တၢဆံ tsʰi t'hsee

The number 1962 would be written as ၁၉၆၂.

Bibliography

  • Aung-Thwin, Michael (2005). The mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma (illustrated ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9780824828868.
  • Bauer, Christian (1991). "Notes on Mon Epigraphy". Journal of the Siam Society. 79 (1): 35.
  • Lieberman, Victor B. (2003). Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-521-80496-7.
  • Stadtner, Donald M. (2008). "The Mon of Lower Burma". Journal of the Siam Society. 96: 198.
  • Sawada, Hideo (2013). "Some Properties of Burmese Script" (PDF).
  • Jenny, Mathias (2015). "Foreign Influence in the Burmese Language" (PDF).
  • Wade, J. (1849). A Vocabulary of the Sgau Karen Language. Tavoy: Karen Mission Press.
Bhaiksuki script

Bhaiksuki (Sanskrit: भैक्षुकी, Bhaiksuki:𑰥𑰹𑰎𑰿𑰬𑰲𑰎𑰱) is a Brahmi-based script that was used around the 11th and 12th centuries CE. It used to be known in English as the "Arrow-Headed Script" or "Point-Headed Script," while an older designation, "Sindhura," had been used in Tibet for at least three centuries. Records showing usage of the script mainly appeared in the present-day states of Bihar and West Bengal in India, and in regions of Bangladesh. Records have also been located in Tibet, Nepal, and Burma.

Bhattiprolu script

The Bhattiprolu script is a variant of the Brahmi script which has been found in old inscriptions at Bhattiprolu, a small village in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, South India. It is located in the fertile Krishna river delta and the estuary region where the river meets the Bay of Bengal.

The inscriptions date to between the 3th century BCE, putting them among the earliest evidence of Brahmi writing in South India.Bhattiprolu differs from Ashokan Brahmi in two significant ways. First, the letters gh, j, m, l, s are "radically different": m is upside-down compared to Brahmi, while gh appears to derive from g rather than from Semitic heth. Secondly, the inherent vowel has been discarded: A consonant written without diacritics represents the consonant alone. This is unique to Bhattiprolu and Tamil Brahmi among the early Indian scripts.

Burmese script

The Burmese script is the basis of the alphabets used for modern Burmese, Mon, Shan and Karen.

Dhives Akuru

Divehi Akuru or Dhives Akuru (island letters), is a script formerly used to write the Maldivian language. This script was called "Dives Akuru" by H. C. P. Bell who studied Maldive epigraphy when he retired from the British government service in Colombo and wrote an extensive monography on the archaeology, history and epigraphy of the Maldive islands.

The Divehi Akuru developed from the Grantha script. The early form of this script was Dīvī Grantha which was named Evēla Akuru (ancient letters) by H. C. P. Bell in order to distinguish it from the more recent variants of the same script. The ancient form (Evela) can be seen in the loamaafaanu (copper plates) of the 12th and 13th centuries and in inscriptions on coral stone (hirigaa) dating back from the Maldive Buddhist period.

Like Sinhala script and most of the native scripts of India (but not Thaana), Dhives akuru descended ultimately from the Brahmi script and thus was written from left to right.

Divehi Akuru was still used in some atolls in the South Maldives as the main script around 70 years ago. Since then, the use is purely scholarly, or it's used by hobbyists. It can still be found on gravestones, and some monuments, including the stone base of the pillars supporting the main structure of the ancient Friday mosque in Malé. H. C. P. Bell obtained an astrology book written in Divehi Akuru in Addu Atoll, in the south of Maldives, during one of his trips. This book is now kept in the National Archives of Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Bodufenvalhuge Sidi, an eminent Maldivian scholar, wrote a book called "Divehi Akuru" in 1959 prompted by then Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir, in order to clarify H. C. P. Bell's errors. However, Maldivian cultural associations have not paid much attention to Bodufenvalhuge Sidi's work and keep perpetuating those errors.

A proposal to encode Dhives Akuru in Unicode has been submitted .

Goykanadi

Goykānaḍī is an ancient script used in the territory of Goa. This script was also called kandavī. This script was used to write Konkani and sometimes Marathi. Similarly, it was used by the trading Saraswat and Daivajna families along with the Modi script to maintain their accounts.

Kadamba script

The Kadamba script (known as Pre-Old Kannada script) marks the birth of a dedicated script for writing Kannada. It is a descendant of the Brahmi script, an abugida visually close to the Kalinga alphabet. The Kadamba script was developed during the reign of the Kadamba dynasty in the 4th–6th centuries. The Kadamba script is also known as Pre-Old-Kannada script. This script later became popular in what is today the state of Goa and was used to write Sanskrit, Kannada

The Kadamba script is one of the oldest of the southern group of South Asian scripts that evolved from the Brahmi script. By 5th century CE it became different from other Brahmi variants and was used in southern Indian states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It evolved into the Old Kannada script by the 10th century CE and was used to write Kannada and Telugu. Many scripts were derived from the Kadamba script, including the Pyu script.

Kalinga script

The Kalinga script is one of many descendants of the ancient Brahmi script just like Tamil-brahmi used in what is now modern-day regions of Odisha. It was primarily used to write Odia and Telugu in north Andhra Pradesh, in the ancient state of Kalinga. It is visually very similar to Pali.By the 12th century, this script had essentially become the current Odia script.

Khojki script

Khojki, or Khojiki (Urdu: خوجكى‎; Sindhi: خوجڪي‎ (Arabic script) खोजकी (Devanagari)), is a script used formerly and almost exclusively by the Khoja community of parts of South Asia such as Sindh. The name "Khojki" is derived from the Persian word khoje, which means "master", or "lord". It was employed primarily to record Isma'ili religious literature as well as literature for a few secret Twelver sects. It is one of the two Landa scripts used for liturgy, the other being the Gurmukhī alphabet, which is associated with Sikhism.

Khudabadi script

Khudabadi is a script generally used by some Sindhis in India to write the Sindhi language. It is also known as Hathvanki (or Warangi) script. Khudabadi is one of the four scripts used for writing the Sindhi language, the other being Perso-Arabic, Khojki and Devanagari script. It was used by traders and merchants to record their information and rose to importance as the script began to be used to record information kept secret from other groups and kingdoms.

Modern Khudabadi has 37 consonants, 10 vowels, 9 vowel signs written as diacritic marks added to the consonants, 3 miscellaneous signs, one symbol for nasal sounds (anusvara), one symbol for conjuncts (virama) and 10 digits like many other Indic scripts. The nukta has been borrowed from Devanagari for representing additional signs found in Arabic and Persian but not found in Sindhi. It is written from left to right, like Devanagari. It follows the natural pattern and style of other Landa scripts.

Laṇḍā scripts

The Laṇḍā scripts (also Lahnda, Landa), meaning "without a tail", is a Punjabi word used to refer to writing systems used in Punjab and nearby parts of North India. It is distinct from the Lahnda language, which used to be called Western Punjabi.

Laṇḍā is a script that evolved from the Śāradā during the 10th century. It was widely used in the northern and north-western part of India in the area comprising Punjab, Sindh, Kashmir and some parts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was used to write Punjabi, Hindustani, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, Kashmiri, Pashto, and various Punjabi dialects like Pahari-Pothwari.

Mahajani

Mahajani is a Laṇḍā mercantile script that was historically used in northern India for writing accounts and financial records in Marwari, Hindi and Punjabi.

It is a Brahmic script and is written left-to-right. Mahajani refers to the Hindi word for 'bankers', also known as 'sarrafi' or 'kothival' (merchant).

Multani script

Multani is a Brahmic script originating in the Multan region of Punjab and in northern Sindh, Pakistan. It was used to write Saraiki language, often considered a dialect of Western Punjabi language. The script was used for routine writing and commercial activities. Multani is one of four Landa scripts whose usage was extended beyond the mercantile domain and formalized for literary activity and printing; the others being Gurmukhi, Khojki, and Khudawadi. Although Multani is now obsolete, it is a historical script in which written and printed records exist. It was also known as Karikki and as Sarai.

Nagar Barap

Nāgar Barap (; नागर बरप Nāgar Barap — Nāgar नागर 'urban' and barap बरप writing) is an abugida alphabet of India. It was the predecessor of the Devanagari script It is written from left to right, does not have distinct letter cases, and is recognizable (along with most other North Indic scripts, with the Gujarati script being an exception) by a horizontal line that runs along the top of full letters.

Nandinagari

Nandinagari is a Brahmic script derived from Nāgarī script which appeared in the 7th century AD. This script and its variants were used in the central Deccan region and south India, and an abundance of Sanskrit manuscripts in Nandinagari have been discovered but remain untransliterated. Some of the discovered manuscripts of Madhvacharya of the Dvaita Vedanta school of Hinduism are in Nandinagari script.It is a sister script to Devanāgarī, which is common in other parts of India.

S'gaw Karen language

Sgaw Karen or Sgaw Kayin, commonly known as Karen is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Sgaw Karen people of Myanmar and Thailand. A Karenic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family, Sgaw Karen is spoken by over a million people in Tanintharyi Region, Ayeyarwady Region, Yangon Region, and Bago Region in Myanmar, and about 200,000 in northern and western Thailand along the border near Kayin State. It is written using the S'gaw Karen alphabet, derived from the Burmese script although a Latin-based script is also in use among the Sgaw Karen in northwestern Thailand.Various divergent dialects are sometimes seen as separate languages: Paku in the northeast, Mopwa (Mobwa) in the northwest, Wewew, and Monnepwa.

Sharada script

The Śāradā, Sarada or Sharada script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts. The script was in widespread use between the 8th and 12th centuries in the northwestern parts of India (in Kashmir and neighbouring areas), for writing Sanskrit and Kashmiri. The Gurmukhī script was developed from Śāradā. Originally more widespread, its use became later restricted to Kashmir, and it is now rarely used except by the Kashmiri Pandit community for ceremonial purposes.

Sharada was in use in large areas of South Asia, including Kashmir, Punjab, and Afghanistan, but its use later became restricted to Kashmir where the script is considered sacred by some Hindus. It is named after the Goddess Śāradā, (another name for Saraswati, the goddess of learing), the main deity of the Sharada Peeth temple.

The Bakhshali manuscript uses an early stage of the Sharada script. The Sharda script was used in Afghanistan as well as in the Himachal region in India. In Afghanistan, the Kabul Ganesh has a 6th century Proto-Sharda inscription mentioning king Khingala. At the historic Markula Devi Temple, the goddess Mahishamardini has a Sharada inscription of 1569AD.

Takri script

The Takri script (Devanagari: टाकरी; sometimes called Tankri) is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts. It is closely related to, and derived from, the Sharada script formerly employed for Kashmiri. It is also related to the Gurmukhī script used to write Punjabi. Until the late 1940s, an adapted version of the script (called Dogri, Dogra or Dogra Akkhar) was the official script for writing Dogri in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and for Kangri, Chambeali and Mandeali in Himachal Pradesh. There is also some record of the script's use in the history of Nepali (Khas-kura).

Takri itself has historically been used to write a number of Dardic and Western and Central Pahari languages in the Western Himalaya, such as Gaddi or Gaddki (the language of the Gaddi ethnic group), Kashtwari (the dialect centered on the Kashtwar or Kishtwar region of Jammu and Kashmir) and Chamiyali (the language of the Chamba region of Himachal Pradesh). Takri used to be most prevalent script for business records and communication in various parts of Himachal Pradesh including the regions of Chintpurni, Una, Kangra, Bilaspur and Hamirpur. The aged businessmen can still be found using Takri in these areas, but the younger generation have now shifted to Devanagari and even English (Roman). This change can be traced to the early days of Indian independence (1950s−80s).

Telugu-Kannada alphabet

The Telugu-Kannada alphabet is a writing system used in southern India. Despite, some differences, the scripts used for the Telugu and Kannada languages remain quite similar.

Tocharian alphabet

The Tocharian alphabet (also known as North Tur­kestan Brāhmī) is a version of Brahmi script used to write the Central Asian Indo-European Tocharian languages, mostly from the 8th century (with a few earlier ones) that were written on palm leaves, wooden tablets and Chinese paper, preserved by the extremely dry climate of the Tarim Basin. Samples of the language have been discovered at sites in Kucha and Karasahr, including many mural inscriptions.

Tocharian A and B are not mutually intelligible. Properly speaking, based on the tentative interpretation of twqry as related to Tokharoi, only Tocharian A may be referred to as Tocharian, while Tocharian B could be called Kuchean (its native name may have been kuśiññe), but since their grammars are usually treated together in scholarly works, the terms A and B have proven useful. A common Proto-Tocharian language must precede the attested languages by several centuries, probably dating to the 1st millennium BC. Given the small geographical range of and the lack of secular texts in Tocharian A, it might alternatively have been a liturgical language, the relationship between the two being similar to that between Classical Chinese and Mandarin. However, the lack of a secular corpus in Tocharian A is by no means definite, due to the fragmentary preservation of Tocharian texts in general.

The alphabet the Tocharians were using is derived from the Brahmi alphabetic syllabary (abugida) and is referred to as slanting Brahmi. It soon became apparent that a large proportion of the manuscripts were translations of known Buddhist works in Sanskrit and some of them were even bilingual, facilitating decipherment of the new language. Besides the Buddhist and Manichaean religious texts, there were also monastery correspondence and accounts, commercial documents, caravan permits, and medical and magical texts, and one love poem. Many Tocharians embraced Manichaean duality or Buddhism.

In 1998, Chinese linguist Ji Xianlin published a translation and analysis of fragments of a Tocharian Maitreyasamiti-Nataka discovered in 1974 in Yanqi.Tocharian script probably died out after 840, when the Uyghurs were expelled from Mongolia by the Kyrgyz, retreating to the Tarim Basin. This theory is supported by the discovery of translations of Tocharian texts into Uyghur. During Uyghur rule, the peoples mixed with the Uyghurs to produce much of the modern population of what is now Xinjiang.

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