Kannada script

Kannada script
ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿ
A Stanza from Kavirajamarga which praises the people for their literary skills, written in the Kannada script
Script type
Time period
4th century CE – present
DirectionLeft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesKannada
Sanskrit
Tulu
Kodava
Badaga
Beary
Sanketi
Konkani
Marathi
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Goykanadi
Sister systems
Telugu
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Knda (345), ​Kannada
Unicode
Unicode alias
Kannada
U+0C80–U+0CFF
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The Kannada script (IAST: Kannaḍa lipi; obsolete: Kanarese or Canarese script in English) is an abugida of the Brahmic family, used to write Kannada, one of the Dravidian languages of South India especially in the state of Karnataka. It is one of the official scripts of the Indian Republic. Kannada script is also widely used for writing Sanskrit texts in Karnataka. Several minor languages, such as Tulu, Konkani, Kodava, Sanketi and Beary, also use alphabets based on the Kannada script. The Kannada and Telugu scripts share very high mutual intellegibility with each other, and are often considered to be regional variants of single script. Other scripts similar to Kannada script are Sinhala script (which included some elements from the Kadamba script), and Old Peguan script (used in Burma).

The Kannada script (ಅಕ್ಷರಮಾಲೆ akṣaramāle or ವರ್ಣಮಾಲೆ varṇamāle) is a phonemic abugida of forty-nine letters. The character set is almost identical to that of other Brahmic scripts. Consonantal letters imply an inherent vowel. Letters representing consonants are combined to form digraphs (ಒತ್ತಕ್ಷರ ottakṣara) when there is no intervening vowel. Otherwise, each letter corresponds to a syllable.

The letters are classified into three categories: ಸ್ವರ svara (vowels), ವ್ಯಂಜನ vyañjana (consonants), and ಯೋಗವಾಹಕ yōgavāhaka (semiconsonants).

The Kannada words for a letter of the script are ಅಕ್ಷರ akshara, ಅಕ್ಕರ akkara, and ವರ್ಣ varṇa. Each letter has its own form (ಆಕಾರ ākāra) and sound (ಶಬ್ದ śabda), providing the visible and audible representations, respectively. Kannada is written from left to right.

History

The Brahmi script evolved into the Kadamba script by the 5th century, which in turn developed into the Old Kannada script and in the 7th century Telugu script emerged from the same Old Kannada script. The Kannada and Telugu scripts then separated by around 1300 C.E.

Over the centuries some changes have been made to the Kannada script. These changes consist of:

  1. Modification of existing glyphs: In the early Kannada script, no orthographic distinction was made between the short mid [e,o] , and long mid [eː,oː] , . However, distinct signs were employed to denote the special consonants viz. the trill [r] the retroflex lateral [ɭ] and the retroflex rhotic [ɻ] , by the 5th century.[dubious ][the transcriptions contradict themselves]
  2. Introduction of new characters: Kannada script includes characters like [ɕ] , [ʂ] ,[ru] , [ruː] , [lu] , [luː] , [ai] , [au] , [am] ಅಂ, [ah] ಅಃ, and mahāprāṇa characters like [kʰ] , [ɡʱ] , [tʃʰ] , [dʒʱ] , [t̪ʰ] , [d̪ʱ] , [ʈʰ] , [ɖʱ] , [pʰ] , [bʱ] . The introduction was done so that Sanskrit (and loanwords into the Kannada language from the donor language Sanskrit) could be written using the Kannada script. These changes have facilitated the use of the Kannada script for writing many of the literary Indic languages, including Sanskrit.

Consonant letters

Two categories of consonant letters (ವ್ಯಂಜನ vyan̄jana) are defined in Kannada: the structured consonants and the unstructured consonants.

Structured consonants

The structured consonants are classified according to their place of articulation, that is, where the tongue touches the palate.

Structured consonants
voiceless voiceless
aspirated
voiced voiced
aspirated
Nasal
velar
ka

kha

ga

gha

ṅa
palatal
ca

cha

ja

jha

ña
retroflex
ṭa

ṭha

ḍa

ḍha

ṇa
dental
ta

tha

da

dha

na
labial
pa

pha

ba

bha

ma

Unstructured consonants

The unstructured consonants are consonants that do not fall into any of the above structures:

Unstructured consonants

ya

ra

ṟa

obsolete

la

va

śa

ṣa

sa

ha

ḷa

ḻa

obsolete

Consonant conjuncts

The Kannada script is rich in conjunct consonant clusters, with most consonants having a standard subjoined form and few true ligature clusters. A table of consonant conjuncts follows although the forms of individual conjuncts may differ according to the font.

Of special note is the sequence concerning the letter (ra). Unlike other letters, the conjunct form is written second even if it is pronounced first in the sequence.

For example, the /rnaː/ in the word Karnāṭaka (ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ) is written ರ್ನಾ rather than ರ‍್ನಾ.

The nasal consonants (ṅa), (ña), (ṇa), (na), and (ma) are usually written as an anusvara when preceding another consonant rather than a consonant conjunct.

For example, the /ŋg/ in the word Beṅgaḷūru (ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು) is usually written ಂಗ rather than ಙ್ಗ (ಬೆಙ್ಗಳೂರು).

Complete list of consonant conjuncts

Obsolete Kannada letters

Archaic n in Kannada script .
Historical form of representing ನ್ in Kannada script.

Kannada literary works employed the letters (transliterated '' or 'rh') and (transliterated '', 'lh' or 'zh'), whose manner of articulation most plausibly could be akin to those in present-day Malayalam and Tamil. The letters dropped out of use in the 12th and 18th centuries, respectively. Later Kannada works replaced 'rh' and 'lh' with (ra) and (la) respectively.

It is still used to write the Badaga language and a vowel + virama + ḻ is used to transcribe its retroflex vowels.

Another letter (or unclassified vyanjana (consonant)) that has become extinct is 'nh' or 'inn'. ನ್ Likewise, this has its equivalent in Telugu, where it is called Nakaara pollu. The usage of this consonant was observed until the 1980s in Kannada works from the mostly coastal areas of Karnataka (especially the Dakshina Kannada district). Now, hardly any mainstream works use this consonant. This letter has been replaced by ನ್ (consonant n).[citation needed]

Vowel letters

Brahmi script, Kanheri Caves

There are thirteen vowel letters (ಸ್ವರ svara) in modern Kannada. When a vowel follows a consonant, it is written with a diacritic rather than as a separate letter. There are also three obsolete vowels.

Written Kannada is composed of akshara or kagunita, corresponding to syllables. The letters for consonants combine with diacritics for vowels. The consonant letter without any diacritic, such as ka, has the inherent vowel a . This is called ದೀರ್ಘ dīrgha. A consonant without a vowel is marked with a 'killer' stroke, such as ಕ್ k. This is known as ಹ್ರಸ್ವ hrasva.

Vowels with their corresponding diacritics and ashkara with ಅ

a
ಆಾ
ā
ಇ ಿ
i
ಈ ೀ
ī
ಉು
u
ಊೂ
ū
ಋೃ
ಎ ೆ
e
ಏ ೇ
ē
ಐ ೈ
ai
ಒ ೊ
o
ಓ ೋ
ō
ಔೌ
au
ದ +

IPA:/d̪a/
ದ + ಾ
ದಾ
IPA:/d̪aː/
ದ + ಿ
ದಿ
IPA:/d̪i/
ದ + ೀ
ದೀ
IPA:/d̪iː/
ದ + ು
ದು
IPA:/d̪u/
ದ + ೂ
ದೂ
IPA:/d̪uː/
ದ + ೃ
ದೃ
IPA:/d̪ru/
ದ + ೆ
ದೆ
IPA:/d̪e/
ದ + ೇ
ದೇ
IPA:/d̪eː/
ದ + ೈ
ದೈ
IPA:/d̪ai/
ದ + ೊ
ದೊ
IPA:/d̪o/
ದ + ೋ
ದೋ
IPA:/d̪oː/
ದ + ೌ
ದೌ
IPA:/d̪au/
Obsolete vowels with their diacritics
ೠೄ
r̥̄
ಌೢ
ೡೣ
l̥̄

Full list of consonant + vowel combinations

The formations shown boldface above are seldom used.

Yōgavāha

There are two yōgavāha (part-vowel, part consonant) letters and two additional yōgavāha used in Sanskrit, but present in Kannada script, known as ardhavisarga.

yōgavāha
anusvara

aṁ
visarga

aḥ
jihvamuliya

aḥ

(ardhavisarga)
upadhmaniya

aḥ

(ardhavisarga)
ದ + ಂ
ದಂ
IPA:/d̪am̃/
ದ + ಃ
ದಃ
IPA:/d̪ah/

Numerals

Clock in Mysore with Kannada numerals. Note that the rotation of digits is not uniform along the outer ring: numerals 3 (left), 6 (bottom), 9 (right) and 12 (top) are upright, numbers 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 are slightly rotated to the right, numbers 5, 10 and 11 are slightly rotated to the left, so they are all readable as if they were all upright (with numbers 10, 11 and 12 read normally from left to right, ignoring the slight rotations).

The decimal numerals in the script are:

Kannada numerals
0
sonne
1
ondu
2
eraḍu
3
mūru
4
nālku
5
aidu
6
āru
7
ēḷu
8
enṭu
9
oṃbattu

Transliteration

Several transliteration schemes/tools are used to type Kannada characters using a standard keyboard. These include Baraha (based on ITRANS), Pada Software and several internet tools like Google transliteration, Quillpad (predictive transliterator). Nudi, the Government of Karnataka's standard for Kannada Input, is a phonetic layout loosely based on transliteration.

In popular culture

Due to its resemblance to an eye and an eyebrow, the Kannada letter ṭha is used in the "look of disapproval" (displayed as "ಠ_ಠ"), a popular emoticon used to convey disapproval or contempt. Similarly, the akshara ರೃ rr̥a has been used in emoticons to represent a monocle, while tha has been used to represent a tearing eye.

Unicode

Kannada script was added to the Unicode Standard in October 1991 with the release of version 1.0.

The Unicode block for Kannada is U+0C80–U+0CFF:

Kannada
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+0C8x
U+0C9x
U+0CAx
U+0CBx ಿ
U+0CCx
U+0CDx
U+0CEx
U+0CFx  ೱ   ೲ 
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also


This page was last updated at 2024-04-15 20:48 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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