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Kannada
Type Abugida
Spoken languages Kannada
Tulu
Konkani
Time period c. 1500–present
Parent systems
Sister systems Telugu
Unicode range U+0C80–U+0CFF
ISO 15924 Knda
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

The Kannada script is a syllabary (of the type sometimes called an abugida) of the Brahmic family,[1] used primarily to write the Kannada language, one of the Dravidian languages in India. It is also used for Konkani, Tulu, Beary bashe and Kodava languages.

Contents

History

Kannada (Kanarese or Canarese) script is derived from the Old Kannada script.[2] Old Kannada script is the continuation of the Kadamba script involved during 10th century CE,[3] used to write the Kannada and Telugu languages, called as Kannada-Telugu script. Modern scripts of Kannada and Telugu started to separate as early as the 13th century CE (During 1100 CE - 1400 CE).

The Kadamba script is evolved from the Brahmi script (during 5th century CE).[4]

General

A sign board in Kannada script

The script has forty-nine characters in its alphasyllabary and is phonemic. The Kannada character set is almost identical to that of other Indian languages. The number of written symbols, however, is far more than the 49 characters in the alphasyllabary, because different characters can be combined to form compound characters (ottaksharas). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme in languages like English. The Kannada writing system is an abugida, with consonants appearing with an inherent vowel.

The characters are classified into three categories: swaras (vowels), vyanjanas (consonants) and yogavaahas (part vowel, part consonants).

The name given for a pure, true letter is akshara, akkara or varna. Each letter has its own form (ākāra) and sound (shabda); providing the visible and audible representations, respectively. Kannada is written from left to right.[5] Kannada alphabet (aksharamale or varnamale) now consists of 49 letters.[6]

Each sound has its own distinct letter, and therefore every word is pronounced exactly as it is spelt; so the ear is a sufficient guide. After the exact sounds of the letters have been once gained, every word can be pronounced with perfect accuracy. The accent falls on the first syllable.[5]

Vowels

There are thirteen vowels (swaras).

Brahmi script, Kanheri Caves
Kannada ISO notation Unicode name
a KANNADA LETTER A
ā KANNADA LETTER AA
i KANNADA LETTER I
ī KANNADA LETTER II
u KANNADA LETTER U
ū KANNADA LETTER UU
KANNADA LETTER VOCALIC R
e KANNADA LETTER E
ē KANNADA LETTER EE
ai KANNADA LETTER AI
o KANNADA LETTER O
ō KANNADA LETTER OO
au KANNADA LETTER AU

Yogavaahas

The yogavaahas (part-vowel, part consonant) include two letters:

  1. The anusvara: (am)
  2. The visarga: (ah)

Consonants

Two types of consonants are identified in Kannada: the structured consonants and the unstructured consonants. The structured consonants are classified according to where the tongue touches the palate of the mouth and are classified accordingly into five structured groups.

Structured consonants

These consonants are shown here with the IAST symbols and the unicode name following.

voiceless voiceless
aspirate
voiced voiced
aspirate
nasal
Velars (ka) (kha) (ga) (gha) (nga)
Palatals (ca) (cha) (ja) (jha) (IAST ña, Unicode nya)
Retroflex (IAST ṭa, Unicode tta) (IAST ṭha, Unicode ttha) (IAST ḍa, Unicode dda) (IAST ḍha, Unicode ddha) (IAST ṇa, Unicode nna)
Dentals (ta) (tha) (da) (dha) (na)
Labials (pa) (pha) (ba) (bha) (ma)

See place of articulation for more information on tongue positions.

Unstructured consonants

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

(ya), (ra), (la), (va), (IAST śa, Unicode sha), (IAST ṣa, Unicode ssa) (sa), (ha), (IAST ḷa, Unicode lla)

Numbers

The decimal numbers in the script are:

(0), (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9)

Kagunita

Written Kannada is composed of kagunita, corresponding to syllables. The signs for consonants may combine with the signs for vowels to form ligatures. Each kagunita corresponds to a syllable. In the table below the top row lists the vowels, and the leftmost column from row 2 down the consonants (actually represented by kagunita, namely that obtained by combining each consonant with the "neutral" vowel 'a'). The remaining cells contain the corresponding kagunita obtained by combining the consonant of that row with the vowel of that column.

ಅಂ ಅಃ
ಕಾ ಕಿ ಕೀ ಕು ಕೂ ಕೃ ಕೆ ಕೇ ಕೈ ಕೊ ಕೋ ಕೌ ಕಂ ಕಃ
ಖಾ ಖಿ ಖೀ ಖು ಖೂ ಖೃ ಖೆ ಖೇ ಖೈ ಖೊ ಖೋ ಖೌ ಖಂ ಖಃ
ಗಾ ಗಿ ಗೀ ಗು ಗೂ ಗೃ ಗೆ ಗೇ ಗೈ ಗೊ ಗೋ ಗೌ ಗಂ ಗಃ
ಘಾ ಘಿ ಘೀ ಘು ಘೂ ಘೃ ಘೆ ಘೇ ಘೈ ಘೊ ಘೋ ಘೌ ಘಂ ಘಃ
ಙಾ ಙಿ ಙೀ ಙು ಙೂ ಙೃ ಙೆ ಙೇ ಙೈ ಙೊ ಙೋ ಙೌ ಙಂ ಙಃ
ಚಾ ಚಿ ಚೀ ಚು ಚೂ ಚೃ ಚೆ ಚೇ ಚೈ ಚೊ ಚೋ ಚೌ ಚಂ ಚಃ
ಛಾ ಛಿ ಛೀ ಛು ಛೂ ಛೃ ಛೆ ಛೇ ಛೈ ಛೊ ಛೋ ಛೌ ಛಂ ಛಃ
ಜಾ ಜಿ ಜೀ ಜು ಜೂ ಜೃ ಜೆ ಜೇ ಜೈ ಜೊ ಜೋ ಜೌ ಜಂ ಜಃ
ಝಾ ಝಿ ಝೀ ಝು ಝೂ ಝೃ ಝೆ ಝೇ ಝೈ ಝೊ ಝೋ ಝೌ ಝಂ ಝಃ
ಞಾ ಞಿ ಞೀ ಞು ಞೂ ಞೃ ಞೆ ಞೇ ಞೈ ಞೊ ಞೋ ಞೌ ಞಂ ಞಃ
ತಾ ತಿ ತೀ ತು ತೂ ತೃ ತೆ ತೇ ತೈ ತೊ ತೋ ತೌ ತಂ ತಃ
ಥಾ ಥಿ ಥೀ ಥು ಥೂ ಥೃ ಥೆ ಥೇ ಥೈ ಥೊ ಥೋ ಥೌ ಥಂ ಥಃ
ದಾ ದಿ ದೀ ದು ದೂ ದೃ ದೆ ದೇ ದೈ ದೊ ದೋ ದೌ ದಂ ದಃ
ಧಾ ಧಿ ಧೀ ಧು ಧೂ ಧೃ ಧೆ ಧೇ ಧೈ ಧೊ ಧೋ ಧೌ ಧಂ ಧಃ
ನಾ ನಿ ನೀ ನು ನೂ ನೃ ನೆ ನೇ ನೈ ನೊ ನೋ ನೌ ನಂ ನಃ
ಟಾ ಟಿ ಟೀ ಟು ಟೂ ಟೃ ಟೆ ಟೇ ಟೈ ಟೊ ಟೋ ಟೌ ಟಂ ಟಃ
ಠಾ ಠಿ ಠೀ ಠು ಠೂ ಠೃ ಠೆ ಠೇ ಠೈ ಠೊ ಠೋ ಠೌ ಠಂ ಠಃ
ಡಾ ಡಿ ಡೀ ಡು ಡೂ ಡೃ ಡೆ ಡೇ ಡೈ ಡೊ ಡೋ ಡೌ ಡಂ ಡಃ
ಢಾ ಢಿ ಢೀ ಢು ಢೂ ಢೃ ಢೆ ಢೇ ಢೈ ಢೊ ಢೋ ಢೌ ಢಂ ಢಃ
ಣಾ ಣಿ ಣೀ ಣು ಣೂ ಣೃ ಣೆ ಣೇ ಣೈ ಣೊ ಣೋ ಣೌ ಣಂ ಣಃ
ಪಾ ಪಿ ಪೀ ಪು ಪೂ ಪೃ ಪೆ ಪೇ ಪೈ ಪೊ ಪೋ ಪೌ ಪಂ ಪಃ
ಫಾ ಫಿ ಫೀ ಫು ಫೂ ಫೃ ಫೆ ಫೇ ಫೈ ಫೊ ಫೋ ಫೌ ಫಂ ಫಃ
ಬಾ ಬಿ ಬೀ ಬು ಬೂ ಬೃ ಬೆ ಬೇ ಬೈ ಬೊ ಬೋ ಬೌ ಬಂ ಬಃ
ಭಾ ಭಿ ಭೀ ಭು ಭೂ ಭೃ ಭೆ ಭೇ ಭೈ ಭೊ ಭೋ ಭೌ ಭಂ ಭಃ
ಮಾ ಮಿ ಮೀ ಮು ಮೂ ಮೃ ಮೆ ಮೇ ಮೈ ಮೊ ಮೋ ಮೌ ಮಂ ಮಃ
ಯಾ ಯಿ ಯೀ ಯು ಯೂ ಯೃ ಯೆ ಯೇ ಯೈ ಯೊ ಯೋ ಯೌ ಯಂ ಯಃ
ರಾ ರಿ ರೀ ರು ರೂ ರೃ ರೆ ರೇ ರೈ ರೊ ರೋ ರೌ ರಂ ರಃ
ಲಾ ಲಿ ಲೀ ಲು ಲೂ ಲೃ ಲೆ ಲೇ ಲೈ ಲೊ ಲೋ ಲೌ ಲಂ ಲಃ
ವಾ ವಿ ವೀ ವು ವೂ ವೃ ವೆ ವೇ ವೈ ವೊ ವೋ ವೌ ವಂ ವಃ
ಶಾ ಶಿ ಶೀ ಶು ಶೂ ಶೃ ಶೆ ಶೇ ಶೈ ಶೊ ಶೋ ಶೌ ಶಂ ಶಃ
ಷಾ ಷಿ ಷೀ ಷು ಷೂ ಷೃ ಷೆ ಷೇ ಷೈ ಷೊ ಷೋ ಷೌ ಷಂ ಷಃ
ಸಾ ಸಿ ಸೀ ಸು ಸೂ ಸೃ ಸೆ ಸೇ ಸೈ ಸೊ ಸೋ ಸೌ ಸಂ ಸಃ
ಹಾ ಹಿ ಹೀ ಹು ಹೂ ಹೃ ಹೆ ಹೇ ಹೈ ಹೊ ಹೋ ಹೌ ಹಂ ಹಃ
ಳಾ ಳಿ ಳೀ ಳು ಳೂ ಳೃ ಳೆ ಳೇ ಳೈ ಳೊ ಳೋ ಳೌ ಳಂ ಳಃ

Unicode

Unicode contains the Kannada script in the range U+0C80–U+0CFF. There are 86 characters in this block as of Unicode 5.0, which added 4 rare letters used for writing Sanskrit in Kannada script.[7] Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points.

Template:Unicode chart Hindi kannada alphabet names are called swaragalu.

Script similarities

Telugu script is closely related to the Kannada script because both scripts are derived from the old Kannada script.[8] Scripts which are close to Kannada script other than Telugu script are Sinhala script[9](which included some elements from the Kadamba script[10]), and old Peguan script (used in Burma).[11]

See also

External links

References








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