Indic scripts
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The Brahmic scripts, also known as Indic scripts, are a family of
abugida An abugida (, from : አቡጊዳ), sometimes known as alphasyllabary, neosyllabary or pseudo-alphabet, is a segmental in which consonant-vowel sequences are written as a unit; each unit is based on a letter, and notation is secondary. Th ...
writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, p ...
s. They are used throughout the Indian subcontinent,
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are south of China, south-east of the Indian sub ...

Southeast Asia
and parts of
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the ...

East Asia
, including
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
in the form of Siddhaṃ. They have descended from the
Brahmi script Brahmi (; : Brāhmī ) is the modern name Quote: " Until the late nineteenth century, the script of the Aśokan (non-Kharosthi) inscriptions and its immediate derivatives was referred to by various names such as “lath” or “Lat,” “Sou ...

Brahmi script
of ancient
India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most populous in the world. Bounded by the on the south, the on the southwest, and the on the southeast, it shares land borders wit ...

India
and are used by various languages in several language families in South, East and Southeast Asia:
Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also

*Aryan invasion theory (disambiguation) *Indo-Aryan tribes (disambigua ...
,
Dravidian Dravidian, Dravidan, or Dravida may refer to: Language and culture *Dravidian languages, a family of languages spoken mainly in South India and northeastern Sri Lanka *Proto-Dravidian language, a model of the common ancestor of the Dravidian langu ...
,
Tibeto-Burman The Tibeto-Burman languages are the non- Sinitic members of the Sino-Tibetan language family, over 400 of which are spoken throughout the highlands of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for As ...
,
Mongolic
Mongolic
,
Austroasiatic The Austroasiatic languages , also known as Mon–Khmer , are a large language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and wri ...
,
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
and Tai. They were also the source of the dictionary order (''
gojūon In the Japanese language, the is a traditional system ordering characters by their component , roughly analogous to . The "fifty" (''gojū'') in its name refers to the 5×10 grid in which the characters are displayed. Each kana, which may be ...
'') of
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
''
kana The term may refer to a number of syllabaries In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...

kana
''.


History

Brahmic scripts descended from the
Brahmi script Brahmi (; : Brāhmī ) is the modern name Quote: " Until the late nineteenth century, the script of the Aśokan (non-Kharosthi) inscriptions and its immediate derivatives was referred to by various names such as “lath” or “Lat,” “Sou ...
. Brahmi is clearly attested from the 3rd century BC during the reign of
Ashoka Ashoka (; Brāhmi: 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓, ''Asoka'', IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit ...

Ashoka
, who used the script for imperial edicts, but there are some claims of earlier epigraphy found on pottery in
South India South India is a region consisting of the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

South India
and
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
. The most reliable of these were short Brahmi inscriptions dated to the 4th century BC and published by Coningham et al. (1996). Northern Brahmi gave rise to the
Gupta script Gupta () is a common surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either ...
during the
Gupta period The Gupta Empire was an empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the . This period is considered as the by historians. The ruling dynasty of ...
, which in turn diversified into a number of cursives during the
medieval period In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
. Notable examples of such medieval scripts, developed by the 7th or 8th century, include
Nagari Nagari may refer to: Writing systems * , a script used in India during the first millennium * , a script used since the late first millennium and currently in widespread use for the languages of northern India * , a script used in southern India ...
, Siddham and
Sharada
Sharada
. The
Siddhaṃ script (also '), also known in its later evolved form as Siddhamātṛkā, is a medieval Brahmic abugida, derived from the Gupta script and ancestral to the Nāgarī script, Nāgarī, Assamese alphabet, Assamese, Bengali alphabet, Bengali, Tirhuta scr ...
was especially important in
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, as many
sutra Sutra ( sa, सूत्र, translit=sūtra, translit-std=IAST, translation=string, threadMonier Williams, ''Sanskrit English Dictionary'', Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Build ...
s were written in it. The art of Siddham
calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad-tipped instrument, brush, or other writing instrument. A contemporary call ...

calligraphy
survives today in
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
. The
syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables *Abugida, writing system us ...
nature and dictionary order of the modern ''
kana The term may refer to a number of syllabaries In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...

kana
'' system of Japanese writing is believed to be descended from the Indic scripts, most likely through the spread of Buddhism. Southern Brahmi evolved into the
Old Kannada Old Kannada or Halegannada ( kn, ಹಳೆಗನ್ನಡ) is the Kannada language } Kannada (; ಕನ್ನಡ, ; less commonly known as Kanarese) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by the people of Karnataka Karnataka (ISO ...
,
Pallava The Pallava dynasty was an Indian dynasty that existed from 275 CE to 897 CE, ruling a portion of southern India South India is a region located in the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hin ...
and
Vatteluttu ''Vatteluttu,'' popularly romanised as ''Vattezhuthu,'' ( ta, வட்டெழுத்து, ' and ml, വട്ടെഴുത്ത്, ') was a syllabic alphabet of south India ( Tamil Nadu and Kerala) and Sri Lanka used for writing ...

Vatteluttu
scripts, which in turn diversified into other scripts of South India and Southeast Asia. The present Telugu script is derived from the Kannada-Telugu script, also known as "Old Kannada script", owing to its similarity to the same. Image:Asokan brahmi pillar edict.jpg, A fragment of Ashoka's 6th pillar edict, in
Brahmi Brahmi (; ISO 15919 ISO 15919 "Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters" is one of a series of international standards for romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of ...

Brahmi
, the ancestor of all Brahmic scripts File:Brahmic script travel from India.png, Spread of Brahmic family of scripts from India


Characteristics

Some characteristics, which are present in most but not all the scripts, are: * Each
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sig ...
has an inherent vowel which is usually a short 'a' (in
Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Bengali alphabet, the wr ...
, Assamese and
Odia Odia, also spelled Oriya or Odiya, may refer to: * Odia people in Odisha, India * Odia language, an Indian language, belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family * Odia alphabet, a writing system used for the Odia language ...
, the phonetic is 'ɔ' due to sound shifts). Other vowels are written by adding to the character. A
mark Mark may refer to: Currency * Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark The Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark ( Bosnian/Croatian/ Serbian: , Bosnian/Serbian: ); sign: KM; code: BAM) is the currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and ...
, known in
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the language of classical , and of h ...

Sanskrit
as a
virama Virama ( ्) is a Sanskrit phonological concept to suppress the inherent vowel that otherwise occurs with every consonant letter, commonly used as a generic term for a codepoint in Unicode, representing either # halanta or explicit virāma, a diac ...
/
halant Virama ( ्) is a Sanskrit phonological concept to suppress the inherent vowelAn inherent vowel is part of an abugida . ''May Śiva protect those who take delight in the language of the gods.'' ( Kalidasa) An abugida (, from Ge'ez language, ...
, can be used to indicate the absence of an inherent vowel. * Each vowel has two forms, an independent form when not attached to 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 In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. ...
and aspiration of a consonant's dependent vowel is also noted by separate signs. * The
alphabetical order Alphabetical order is a system whereby character string In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a specif ...
is:
vowels A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowels
,
velar consonant Velars are consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronoun ...
s,
palatal consonants Palatal consonants are consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue ...
,
retroflex consonant A retroflex, apico-domal, or cacuminal () consonant is a coronal consonant Coronal may refer to: * a nuptial crown '' File:서봉총 금관 금제드리개.jpg, The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasu ...
s,
dental consonant A dental consonant is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the ton ...

dental consonant
s,
bilabial consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical pro ...

bilabial consonant
s,
approximants Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives Fricatives are conso ...
,
sibilants In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical pr ...
, and other consonants. Each consonant grouping had four stops (with all four possible values of voicing and aspiration), and a
nasal consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical ...
.


Comparison

Below are comparison charts of several of the major Indic scripts, organised on the principle that glyphs in the same column all derive from the same Brahmi glyph. Accordingly: * The charts are not comprehensive. Glyphs may be unrepresented if they don't derive from any Brahmi character, but are later inventions. * The pronunciations of glyphs in the same column may not be identical. The pronunciation row is only representative; the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest seq ...
(IPA) pronunciation is given for
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the language of classical , and of h ...

Sanskrit
where possible, or another language if necessary. The transliteration is indicated in
ISO 15919 ISO 15919 "Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters" is one of a series of international standards for romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a differen ...
.


Consonants

;Notes


Vowels

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.
;Notes


Numerals

;Notes


List of Brahmic scripts


Historical

The Brahmi script was already divided into regional variants at the time of the earliest surviving epigraphy around the 3rd century BC. Cursives of the Brahmi script began to diversify further from around the 5th century AD 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 Gupta () is a common surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either ...
was very influential, and in the southern group the
Vatteluttu ''Vatteluttu,'' popularly romanised as ''Vattezhuthu,'' ( ta, வட்டெழுத்து, ' and ml, വട്ടെഴുത്ത്, ') was a syllabic alphabet of south India ( Tamil Nadu and Kerala) and Sri Lanka used for writing ...
and Old-Kannada/
Pallava The Pallava dynasty was an Indian dynasty that existed from 275 CE to 897 CE, ruling a portion of southern India South India is a region located in the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hin ...
scripts with the spread of Buddhism sent Brahmic scripts throughout Southeast Asia.


Northern Brahmic

*
Gupta Gupta () is a common surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either ...
, 4th century **
Sharada
Sharada
*** Landa ****
Gurmukhi Gurmukhī ( pa, ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ, , Shahmukhi: ) or Punjabi script is an abugida An abugida (, from : አቡጊዳ), sometimes known as alphasyllabary, neosyllabary or pseudo-alphabet, is a segmental in which consonant-vowel seque ...

Gurmukhi
****
Khojki Khojki, or Khojiki (; sd, خوجڪي (Arabic script) खोजकी (Devanagari)), is a script used formerly and almost exclusively by the Khoja community of parts of the Indian subcontinent such as Sindh. The name "Khojki" is derived from the ...
**** Khudabadi ****
Mahajani Mahajani is a Laṇḍā mercantile script that was historically used in northern India for writing accounts and financial records in Marwari, Hindi Hindi ( Devanagari: हिन्दी, IAST/ ISO 15919: ''Hindī''), or more precise ...
**** Multani *** Takri script, Takri **** Dogri script, Dogri ** Siddhaṃ ***
Nagari Nagari may refer to: Writing systems * , a script used in India during the first millennium * , a script used since the late first millennium and currently in widespread use for the languages of northern India * , a script used in southern India ...
**** Devanagari **** Modi script, Modi **** Gujarati script, Gujarati **** Nandinagari **** Kaithi ***** Sylheti Nagari *** Gaudi script, Gaudi **** Bengali–Assamese script, Bengali–Assamese (Eastern Nagari) ***** Assamese alphabet, Assamese ***** Bengali alphabet, Bengali **** Tirhuta script, Tirhuta (Mithilakshar) **** Odia script, Odia *** Nepalese scripts, Nepalese **** Bhujimol script, Bhujimol **** Ranjana script, Ranjana ***** Soyombo script, Soyombo **** Pracalit script, Pracalit ** Tibetan script, Tibetan *** Meitei script, Meetei Mayek *** Lepcha script, Lepcha **** Limbu script, Limbu *** 'Phags-pa script, 'Phags-pa **** Zanabazar square script, Zanabazar square *** Marchen script, Marchen **** Marchung **** Pungs-chen **** Pungs-chung **** Drusha ** Kalinga script, Kalinga ** Bhaiksuki script, Bhaiksuki * Tocharian script, Tocharian (Slanting Brahmi)


Southern Brahmic

* Tamil-Brahmi, 2nd century BC **
Pallava The Pallava dynasty was an Indian dynasty that existed from 275 CE to 897 CE, ruling a portion of southern India South India is a region located in the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hin ...
*** Tamil script, Tamil *** Grantha script, Grantha **** Malayalam script, Malayalam **** Tigalari script, Tigalari **** Dhives Akuru **** Saurashtra script, Saurashtra *** Khmer script, Khmer **** Khom Thai script, Khom Thai **** Sukhothai script, Sukhothai ***** Thai script, Thai ****** Tai Viet script, Tai Viet ****** Dai Don script, Dai Don ***** Fakkham script, Fakkham ****** Tai Yo script, Tai Yo ****** Thai Noi script, Thai Noi ******* Lao script, Lao *** Cham script, Cham *** Kawi script, Kawi **** Balinese script, Balinese **** Batak script, Batak **** Buda script, Buda **** Javanese script, Javanese **** Sundanese script, Sundanese **** Lontara script, Lontara **** Makasar script, Makasar **** Lampung script, Lampung **** Rencong script, Rencong **** Rejang script, Rejang **** Baybayin ***** Buhid script, Buhid ***** Hanunó'o script, Hanunó'o ***** Tagbanwa script, Tagbanwa ***** Kulitan alphabet, Kulitan *** Old Mon script, Old Mon **
Vatteluttu ''Vatteluttu,'' popularly romanised as ''Vattezhuthu,'' ( ta, வட்டெழுத்து, ' and ml, വട്ടെഴുത്ത്, ') was a syllabic alphabet of south India ( Tamil Nadu and Kerala) and Sri Lanka used for writing ...

Vatteluttu
*** Kolezhuthu *** Malayanma * Sinhala script, Sinhala * Bhattiprolu script, Bhattiprolu ** Kadamba script, Kadamba *** Telugu-Kannada alphabet, Telugu-Kannada **** Kannada script, Kannada ***** Goykanadi **** Telugu script, Telugu *** Pyu script, Pyu **** Burmese alphabet, Burmese ***** Ahom script, Ahom ***** Chakma script, Chakma ***** S'gaw Karen alphabet, S'gaw Karen ***** Shan language#Alphabet, Shan ****** Lik-Tai ***** Mon language#Alphabet, Mon ****** Tai Le script, Tai Le ****** Tai Tham script, Tai Tham ******* New Tai Lue alphabet, New Tai Lue


Unicode

As of Unicode version 13.0, the following Brahmic scripts have been encoded:


See also

* Devanagari transliteration ** International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration ** National Library at Kolkata romanization * Bharati Braille, the unified braille assignments of Indian languages * Indus script – the earliest writing system on the Indian subcontinent * ISCII – the coding scheme specifically designed to represent Indic scripts


References


External links


Online Tool which supports Conversion between various Brahmic Scripts

Windows Indic Script Support

An Introduction to Indic Scripts



Enhanced Indic Transliterator
Transliterate from romanised script to Indian Languages.

A means to transliterate from romanised to Unicode Indian scripts.
Imperial Brahmi Font and Text-Editor




* [http://padma.mozdev.org/ Padma: Transformer for Indic Scripts] – a Firefox add-on {{DEFAULTSORT:Brahmic Family Of Scripts Brahmic scripts, Abugida writing systems,