World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lepcha alphabet

Article Id: WHEBN0006620237
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lepcha alphabet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tibetan alphabet, Unicode character property, Kalinga alphabet, Śāradā script, Brahmic scripts
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Lepcha alphabet

Lepcha
Type
Languages Lepcha
Time period
c. 1700–present
Parent systems
Child systems
Limbu
Sister systems
Phagspa
ISO 15924 Lepc, 335
Direction Left-to-right
Unicode alias
Lepcha
U+1C00–U+1C4F
[a] The Semitic origin of the Brahmic scripts is not universally agreed upon.

The Lepcha script, or Róng script is an abugida used by the Lepcha people to write the Lepcha language. Unusually for an abugida, syllable-final consonants are written as diacritics.

History

Lepcha is derived from the Tibetan script, and may have some Burmese influence. According to tradition, it was devised in the beginning of 18th century by prince Phyagdor Namgyal of the Tibetan dynasty in Sikkim, or by scholar Thikúng Men Salóng in the 17th century. Early Lepcha manuscripts were written vertically, a sign of Chinese influence. When they were later written horizontally, the letters remained in their new orientations, rotated 90° from their Tibetan prototypes. This resulted in an unusual method of writing final consonants.

Typology

The Lepcha consonants in original direction (called Lazóng).
Lepcha script chart.

Lepcha is now written horizontally, but the changes in the direction of writing have resulted in a metamorphosis of the eight syllable-final consonants from conjuncts (ligatures) as in Tibetan to superposed diacritics.

As in most other Brahmic scripts, the short vowel /-a/ is not written; other vowels are written with diacritics before (/-i, -o/), after (/-ā, -u/), or under (/-e/) the initial consonant. The length mark, however, is written over the initial, as well as any final consonant diacritic, and fuses with /-o/ and /-u/. (When fused as /-ō/, however, it lies below any final consonant.) Initial vowels do not have separate letters, but are written with the vowel diacritics on an &-shaped zero-consonant letter.

There are postposed diacritics for medial /-y-/ and /-r-/, which may be combined (krya). For medial /-l-/, however, there are seven dedicated conjunct letters. That is, there is a special letter for /kla/ which does not resemble the letter for /ka/. (Only /gla/ is written with a straightforward diacritic.)

One of the final letters, /-ŋ/, is an exception to these patterns. First, unlike the other finals, final /-ŋ/ is written to the left of the initial consonant rather than on top, occurring even before preposed vowels. That is, /kiŋ/ is written "ngki". Second, there is no inherent vowel before /-ŋ/; even short /-a-/ must be written, with a diacritic unique to this situation. (It appears to be the diacritic for long /-ā/ rotated 180° around the consonant letter.) That is, /kaŋ/ is written "ngka", rather than "kng" as would be expected from the general pattern.

Unicode

Lepcha script was added to the Unicode Standard in April, 2008 with the release of version 5.1.

The Unicode block for Lepcha is U+1C00–U+1C4F:


References

  • Leonard van der Kuijp, The Tibetan Script and Derivatives, in Daniels and Bright, The World's Writing Systems, 1996.

External links

  • Lepcha script at Omniglot.com
  • Jason Glavy's Lepcha font - A free and well designed but non-Unicode compliant font. via reocities.com
  • Mingzat - A Lepcha Unicode font based on Jason Glavy’s JG Lepcha
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.