IV. Script:

General (LINKS) Language Specific (Only if the language has a script )


B Name of the Scirpt /Scripts

(Konkani has five script ) (Sample of all the fivescirt be given )

1. Geographic Distribution of the script

(Konkani is written in Kannada script in Karnataka ;In Tamil script in Tamilnadu; Malayalam script in Kerala ; and in Devangari and Roman script in Geo)

2. Doman –wise Distribution

(In 19th century Marathi was written in Modi for documents and Bal bod for accounts)

3. Name of the officially recoginzed script

C. Introduction to Graphemes:

The writing system in Malayalam is as a rule phonemic most of the phonemes are represented by separate graphemes supplemented by allograph with predictable distribution.

All the consonants in isolation are pronounced with vowel |a|and the letters are named accordingly.

Voicing is not quite conspicuous when there is aspiration. The voiceless-voiced difference in aspirated consonants is strictly maintained in writing though not in speech.

The immediate predecessor of Malayalam orthography is closely related to Grantham [steaver: 1996], which was used to write Sanskrit in Southern India and vaṭṭeluttu or Brahmi script, used in Tamil. Till eleventh century this script was used for Tamil in the Southern Districts of Tamilnadu and Kerala. As a result there was influence of Tamil on Malayalam Orthography. The system of writing is from left to right. The Malayalam scripts are largely phonemic in nature except for a few cases. Different types of scripts were used earlier. “In the 1970s and 1980s, the difficulties of printing Malayalam script gave rise to the introduction of a simplified script” [Mohanan: 1996] this modification converts the earlier non-linear diacritics into liner pattern for printing convenience. But that modification was not fully adopted by the users. Therefore in the daily usage, old and new, both are being used by the users. But the IT has adopted this simplified form of script along with certain exception due to mechanical reason especially in the use of kūṭṭaks’aram/‘conjunct script’. The main difference with the earlier modification is in the use of conjuncts. This system follows the lsm facilities for Malayalam. The lsm [ISFOC (Indian Standard font code) script managements] follows a linear representation of conjunct by using Chandrakala ‘u’ in between two consonants except 69 conjuncts which have single script like ‘ ‘ for kt.

1. Number of Graphemes:

The modern Malayalam script has thirteen vowels including two diphthongs and all except the inherited vowel ‘a’ have allographs.

There are thirty-six consonants in Malayalam scripts. But the number of phonemes is less. The [+vd+as] cs, which are borrowed from Sanskrit, are generally produced as [-vd+as] or [+vd-as] eg: bh>ph/b; dh>th/d etc.

Malayalam has consonant cluster eg:(KR) consonant sequence (kt) and dacible consonant (kk) which are used frequently out of these only sixty nine one in conjunct script. Others are formed by the use of Chandrakala, the script for [+short, +high, back+unrounded] vowel.

Subramaniam. V. I 2002 IJDL, Dravidian

Linguistic Association


2. Consonants, Vowels, Dipthongs and Clusters:


ക |ka| ഖ |kha| ഗ |ga| ഘ |gha| ങ |ṅa| N|ca| ച |cha| ഛ |ja| ജ |jha| ഝ |n̄a| ട |ṭa| ഠ |ṭha| ഡ |ḍa| ഢ |ḍha| ണ |ņa| ത |ta| ഥ |tha| ദ |da| ധ |dha| ന |na| പ |pa| ഫ |pha| ബ |ba| ഭ |bha| മ |ma| യ |ya| ര |ra| ല |la| വ |va| ശ |ŗa| ഷ |sa| സ |ṣa| ഹ |ha| ള |ḷa| ഴ |la| റ |Ra|


അ|a| ആ |ā| ഇ |i| ഈ |ī| ഉ |u| ഊ |ū| ഋ|yru| എ |e| ഏ |ē| ഒ|o| ഓ |ō|


ഐ |ai| ഔ |au|


1. C1 + C2 = C1C2

ക്ട|kṭa| ക്സ |ksa| ഘ്മ |ghm| ച്ഛ |ccha| ണ്ഠ |ņṭha| പ്ത |pta| ]പ്ന |pna|

ബ്ദ|bda| ബദാ |bdha| യ്ത |yta| ത്പ |ypa| യ്മ|yma| സ്ന |ŗna| ശ്മ|ṣma| സ്ട |ṣṭa| ഷ്ഠ |ṣṭha| ശ്ണ|ṣņa|

സ്പ|sp̣a| സ്ക |ska| സ്ത |sta| സ്ന |sna| സ്മ |sma|

2. C1+C2 = C1+C2

ക്ത |kta| ജ്ഞ |jña| ഞ്ജ |ñja| ത്ഭ |tbha| ത്മ |tma| സ്ധ |sdha| സ്ച |ṣca|

3. C1+C2 = C1+1/2 C2

ക്ഷ |kṣa| ജ്ഞ |gna| ഗ്മ |gma| ഢ്ണ |ņḍha| ത്ന |tna| സ്ത |tsa| ധ്ധ |ddha| ഹ്ന |hna|

4. C1+C2 = 1/2 C1 C2

ങ്ക |ṅka| ഞ്ച |ņca| ണ്ട |ņṭa| ണ്മ |ņma| ന്ത |nta| ന്ദ |nda| ന്മ |nma| മ്പ |mpa|

5. C1+C2 = Allograph of C2

ത്ഥ |ttha| ന്ത |ntha| ഷ്ഥ |stha| C1 + |tha|

ക്ര |kRa| ഗ്ര |ghRa| ജ്ര |jRa| ട്ര |ṭRa| ധ്ര |dRa| ത്ര |tRa| ധ്ര |dhRa| പ്ര |pRa| ഭ്ര |bhRa|

സ്ര |ṣRa| ശ്ര |sRa| വ്ര |vRa| C1+n |Ra|

ഗ്ര |gra| ദ്ര |dra| ബ്ര |bra| C1+ŋ |ra|

ക്ല |kḷa| ഗ്ല |gḷa| പ്ല |pḷa| ബ്ല |bḷa| മ്ല |mḷa| C1+ |-ḷa|

ക്യ |kya| ഖ്യ |khya| ഗ്യ |igya| ഘ്യ |ghya| ജ്യ |ijya| ട്യ |ṭya| ധ്യ |ḍhya| ത്യ |tya| ഥ്യ |thya| ദ്യ |dya|

ധ്യ |dhya| പ്യ |pya| ഭ്യ |bhya| ണ്യ |ņya| ന്യ|nya| മ്യ |mya| ര്യ |rya| ല്യ |lya| ശ്യ |ŗya| ശ്യ |sya| ഹ്യ |hya| വ്യ |vya| C1+2 |ya|

കൃ |kru| ഗൃ |gru| ഘൃ |ghru| ജൃ |jru| തൃ |tru| ദൃ |dru| ധൃ |dhru| പൃ |pru| ബൃ |bru|

ഭൃ |bhru| നൃ |nru| മൃ |mru| |ṣru| ശൃ |sru| ഹൃ |hru| വൃ |vru| - C1+eg യൃ |yru|

ക്വ |kva| ഗ്വ |gva| ജ്വ |jva| ത്വ |tva| ഥ്വ |thva| ദ്വ |dva| ധ്വ |dhva| ണ്വ |ņva| ന്വ |nva| ശ്വ |ṣva| സ്വ |sva| ഹ്വ |hva|

6. C1+C2 (C2) Allograph of C1+C2 (C2) when C1 is

മ m ന n ക ka കാ kā കി ki കീ kī കു ku കൂ kū കൃ kṛ കെ ke കേ kē കൈ kai കൊ ko കോ kō കൌ kau

Long Consonants

C1+C1 = C1+C1

ത്ത |tta| ജ്ജ |jja| മ്മ |mma| ള്ള |ḷḷa|

C1+C1 = C11/2 C

ക്ക |kka| ണ്ണ |ṅṅa| ങ്ങ |n̄n̄a| ന്ന |nna|

C1+C1 = C1C2

ഗ്ഗ |gga| ഡ്ഡ |ḍḍa| ണ്ണ |ņņa| പ്പ |ppa| ശ്സ |ṣṣa| ഷ്ഷ |ssa|

C1+C1 = C1 1/2 C1

ട്ട |ṭṭa| ദ്ദ |dda|

Roy. C. J 1976 Introductory Malayalam

Department of Malayalam

Madurai University Old Buildings

Madurai. Pp: 1-45.

Asher. R. E 1994 The Encyclopaedia of Language and

Linguistics, Vol.7, Pergamon Press Ltd,


3. Distribution of Allograph:

n |Ra|

The allograph of n have the following distribution pattern:

1. When it occurs as first member in any cluster.

2. When it occurs as first member in any cluster and word finally.

ū. when not followed by a vowel.

3. u when it occurs as last member in any cluster.


The allograph of is [u] when it occurs as last member in any clusters.


As first member in clusters it is usually represented by (an allograph of the grapheme representing (|la|)


The alveolar nasal has an allograph when occurring as first member in clusters and word finally


As second member is clusters it is represented by the allograph


As first member in certain clusters and word finally it represented by the allograph o

|ya|-it has an allograph when it occurs as last member in clusters

|ha|-has an allograph : represents it in certain clusters.

|ņa|-in the final positions it is represented by the allograph

|ḷa|-when occurring medially as second member in clusters, it is represented by the allograph and finally by the allograph

|la|-In gemination and as second member in cluster. It is represented by the allograph and word finally by

|tha|-As second member in clusters it is represented by the allograph

The consonant allographs are used with the C but it changes its phonemic value according to the co-occurences.


when preceded by any consonant it is represented by the allograph

|i|with consonant it is represented by the allograph

|ī| with consonants it is represented by the allograph

|e|-with consonants it is represented by the allograph

|ē|-with consonants it is represented by the allograph

|u|-it has the following allograph

1. –c with the consonants m and as in and

2. -ɔ with the consonants |ka| as in

3. -ε with the consonant as in

4. with the consonants |ta|, |bha|, |ja| |ha| |ga|and |ṣa| as

in______________________ respectively.

5. –o with all consonants other than those mentioned above. eg:

6. u with all consonants word finally, added euphonically

|ū|it has the following allographs.

1. with the consonants m and as in and

2. with as in

3. with the consonant and with all the consonants which take the allograph indicated as 4 under as in

4. with all consonants other than these mentioned above as in

5. b with as in

|o|-with any consonant it is represented by the allograph

|ō|-with any consonant it is represented by the allograph

|ai|-with consonants it has the allograph

|au|-with consonants it is represented by the allograph or

|yru|-As a second member in cluster it is represented by the allograph

Roj. C. J 1976 Introductory Malayalam

Department of Malayalam

Maduri University Oil Buildings

Madurai. Pp:1-27.

4. Rules for combinations of Matras|nuktas|vowel modifiers|cluster formations

The long consonants and clusters have certain common features is their graphic representations. The basic patterns followed are the same. In both the cases the graphemes may be written fully or partially. In long consonants the length and in clusters one or more of the constituent consonants (one, if the cluster is of two consonants; more than one if the cluster is composed of three or four consonants) may be represented by allographs. The length as well as clusters normally contrast with their short |single counter parts. There are however, a few cases in which such contrasts are not available.

Long consonants occur medially only. Clusters may occur initially and medially. The frequency of occurrence is more in the medial position.

The major types of clustering on the basic of the quality of the constituent consonants and their patterns of distribution are indicated below.

1. Clusters of Two Consonants:

First Member Second Member Distribution

a. Stop Stop Initial Medial

Nasal -do- -do-

Trill -do- -do-

Flap -do- -do-

Lateral -do- -do-

Fricative -do- -do-

Continuant -do- -do-

b. Nasal Stop -do- -do-

Nasal -do- -do-

Trill -do- -do-

Flap -do- -do-

Lateral -do- -do-

Fricative -do- -do-

Continuant -do- -do-

c. Trill Stop -do- -do-

Nasal -do- -do-

Fricative -do- -do-

Continuant -do- -do-

d. Lateral Stop -do- -do-

Fricative -do- -do-

Continuant -do- -do-

e. Fricative Stop -do- -do-

Nasal -do- -do-

Trill -do- -do-

Lateral -do- -do-

Consonant -do- -do-

f. Continuant Stop -do- -do-

Nasal -do- -do-

Trill -do- -do-

Continuant -do- -do-

2. Clusters of Three Consonants:

First Member Second Member Third Member Distribution

a. Stop Stop Stop Medial

Trill -do-

Continuant -do-

b. Nasal Stop Trill -do-

Flap -do-

Continuant -do-

c. Trill Stop Stop -do-

Nasal Continuant -do-

d. Lateral Fricative Continuant -do-

e. Fricative Stop Trill Initial, Medial

Continuant -do- -do-

3. Clusters of Four Consonants:

First Member Second Member Third Member Fourth Member Distribution

a. Stop Stop Stop Continuant Medial

b. Nasal Stop Trill Continuant Medial

Roy. C. J 1976 Introductory Malayalam

Department of Malayalam

Madurai University Old Buildings

Madurai. Pp:57-59.

Phonemie – graphenie Fd (Sound should be provided) /p>

/ka/ - is a voiceless velar stop occurs initially and medially.

/kha/ - is an aspirated voiceless velar stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/ga/ - is a voiced velar stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/gha/ - is an aspirated voiced velar stop occurs initially and medially.

/ṅa/ - is a velar nasal. Its distribution is restricted to the middle position where it occurs in gemination or in combination with the homorganic stop with gemination if is written as < >.

/ca/ - is a voiceless palatal stop occurs initially and medially.

/cha/ - is an aspirated voiceless palatal stop occurs initially and medially.

/ja/ - is a voiced palatal stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/jha/ - is a voiced aspirated palatal stop and it has very limited occurrences.

/ña/ - is a palatal nasal. It occurs initially and medially.

/ṭa/ - is a voiceless retroflex stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/ṭha/ - is an aspirated voiceless retroflex stop. Its distribution is mostly restricted to medial position.

/ḍa/ - is a voiced retroflex stop occurs initially and medially and very limited occurrences.

/ḍha/ - is a voiced aspirated retroflex stop and it has very limited occurrence.

/ņa/ - is a retroflex nasal. It occurs medially and finally.

/ta/ - is a voiceless dental stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/tha/ - is an aspirated voiceless dental stop.

/da/ - is a voiced dental stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/dha/ - is an aspirated voiced dental stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/na/ represents phonemes, namely

1. dental nasal which occurs initially and medially and

2. alveolar nasal which occurs initially, medially and finally.

/pa/ - is a voiceless bilabial stop occurs initially and medially.

/pha/ - is an aspirated voiceless bilabial stop occurs initially and medially. and it also represents the labiodental fricative /f/ found in English and used in the pronunciation of some of the loon words.

/ba/ - is a voiced bilabial stop. It occurs initially and medially.

/bha/ - is a voiced aspirated bilabial stop occurs initially and medially.

/ma/ - is a bilabial nasal. It occurs initially, medially and finally.

/ya/ - is a palatal continuant occurs initially and medially.

/ra/ - is an alveolar flap. Its occurrence is restricted to initial and medial position.

/la/ - is an alveolar lateral. It occurs initially, medially and finally.

/va/ - is a labeodental continuant. It occurs initially and medially.

/ŗa/ - is a palatal fricative. It occurs initially and medially.

/ṣa/ - is voiceless retroflex frecative.

/sa/ - is a voiceless alveolar gibilant occurs initially and medially.

/ha/ - is a voiceless velar fricative.

/ḷa/ - is a retroflex lateral. It occurs initially and medially.

/ḷa/ - is a retroflex continuant. It occurs medially.

/Ra/ - is an alveolar trill. It occurs in initial, medial and final positions of utterance.

/a/ - is a low central unsound vowel.

/ā/ - is a low central unsounded long vowel. It occurs initially, medially and finally.

/i/ - is a high front short vowel. It occurs initially, medially and finally.

/ī/ - is a high front long vowel occurs initially, medially and finally.

/u/ - is a high back short vowel.

/ū/ - is a high back long vowel.

/e/ - is a mid front unrounded short vowel.

/ē/ - is a mid front unrounded long vowel.

/o/ - is a mid back rounded short vowel.

/ō/ - is mid back rounded long vowel.

/ai/ - is a combination of < > and < >.

/au/ - is a combination of the vowels < > and < >. /yru/ - is an alveolar continuant. It occurs initially and as second member is clusters.

Examples for phonemic – grapheme correspondence in detail

Phoneme or sequential phoneme Grapheme Allograph Examples phonomedly Graphe-meadly Meaning
/i/ -? iviḍe, ciri ഇവിടെ ചിരി here, smile
/ī/ - īcca, vīti ഈച്ച, വിതി fly, breadth
/e/ eviḍe, keṭṭu ഏവിടെ കെട്ടൂ where, tie
/ē/ ēlam, kēraļam ഏലം കേരളം cardamom, kerala
/a/ amma, kaḍala അമ്മ, കടല mother, Bengal gram
/ra/ āņa, kālam ആന, കാലം elephant, season
/ai/ ais̄varyam, aṭṭakam ഐശ്വര്യം, ഒട്ടകം camel
/o/ koti, ōḍu കൊതി, ഓടു desire, run
/u/ cōra, umma, kutira, tuņi, puRam, nuņa, varu ചോര, ഉമ്മ കുതിര, തുണി, പുറം, നുണ blood, kiss, horse, cloth, page, lie, come
/ū/ kūra, tūņ, pūram, nūl, rūppa കൂര , തൂണ് dumb, pillar, roof , a star, thread, rupee
പൂരമ്, നൂല്,
/U/ pattU, atU പത്ത്, അത് ten, that
/au/ kautukam കൌതുകം curiously
/k/ kaḍala, paka കടല, പക Bengal gram, revenge
/kh/ khani ഖനി mine
/kk/ ക്ക aNkam അക്കം number
/ky/ ക്യ vākyam വാക്യം sentence
/kl or kḷ/ ക്ല or ക്ള kliptam, kḷāvu ക്ലിപ്തം, ക്ളാവ് limited, fin coating
/kv/ ക്വ pakvam പക്വം mature
/kṣ/ ക്ഷ ṭṣīņam ക്ഷീണം tiredness
/kRi/ കൃ kRiṣI കൃഷി agriculture
/g/ gān­am ഗാനം song
/gh/ khan­am ഘനം weight
/gn/ ഗ്ന nagn­am നഗ്നം naked
/gm/ ഗ്മ yugnam യുഗ്നം pair
/gy/ ഗ്യ yōgyam യോഗ്യം suitable
/gr/ {K graham ഗ്രഹം planet
/gRi/ ഗൃ gRiham ഗൃഹം house
/gḷ/ ഗ്ള gḷān­I ഗ്ളാനി gloom
/ṅṅ/ ങ്ങ maṅṅa മാങ്ങ mango
/c/ cāyam ചായം paint
/cc/ ച്ച pacca പച്ച green
/ch/ chāya ഛായ shade
s/cch/ ഛ്ഛ acchan അച്ഛന് father
/cy/ ച്യ achyutan­ അച്യുതന് a name
/j/ jāti ജാതി caste
/jj/ ജ്ജ majja മജ്ജാ lymph
/jv/ ജ്വ jvaram ജ്വരം typhoid
/jh/ ജ്ഹ jhaṣam മീന് fish
/jR/ ജ്ര vajRam വജ്രം diamond
/n̄/ ñān­ ഞാന് I
/n̄n̄/ ഞ്ഞ man̄n̄a മഞ്ഞ yellow
/n̄c/ ങ്ച an̄ju അണ്ജു five
/ṭ/ tēppu ടേപ്പ് tape
/ṭṭ/ ട്ട paṭṭi പട്ടി dog
/ṭR/ ട്ര ṭReyin ട്രൈന് train
/ḍ/ ḍeppi ഡെപ്പി box
/ḍḍ/ Í Iḍḍali ഇഡ്ഡലി Idlis
/ḍh/ mūḍhan മൂഢ്ഢന് fool
/ḍR/ ഡ്ര drama നാടകം drama
/ņ/ paņam പണം money
/ņņ/ ണ്ണ kaņņi കണ്ണി link
/ņṭ/ ണ്ട ceņḍa ചേണ്ഡ drum
/ņḍ/ ണ്ഡ maņḍalam മണ്ഡലം field
/t/ taram തരം sort
/tt/ ത്ത tatta തത്ത parrot
/th/ ratham രഥം chariot
/tR/ ത്ര rātRi രാത്രി neight
/ty/ ത്യ tyāgam ത്യാഗം sacrifice
/tv/ ത്വ tatvam തത്വം principle
/tm/ ത്മ ātmāvU ആത്മാവ് soul
/ts/ ത്സ ulsāham ഉല്ലാസം enthusiasm
/tbh/ ത്ഭ ulphavam ഉത്ഭവം source
/d/ dān­am ദാനം gift
/dy/ ദ്യ sadya സദ്യ feast
/dr/ ദ്ര dravam ദ്രവം solid
/ddh/ ദ്ധ butthan­ ബുദ്ധന് Buddha
/dh/ dhan­am ധനം wealth
/n/ \ nalla നല്ല good
/n­/ pan­I പനി fever
/nn/ ന്ന panni പന്നി pig
/n­n­/ ഞ്ഞ pan­n­I പഞ്ഞി fern
/n­m/ ഞ്മ nan­ma നഞ്മ virtue
/nf/ ന്ദ candam ചന്ദം beauty
/nd/ ന്ദ indira ഇന്ദിര a name
/n­y/ ന്യാ n­yāyam ന്യായം justice
/n̄k/ ങ്ക pan̄ka പങ്ക fan
/np/ ന്പ cembu ചേന്പ് copper
/nR/ ന്ര en­d­e എന്റെ mine
/n­v/ ഞ്വ an­vēṣaņam അന്വേഷണം inquiry
/p/ pata പദ foam
/ph/ phalam ഫലം result
/pp/ പ്പ appam അപ്പം cake
/pn­/ പ്ന svapn­am സ്വപ്നം dream
/pR/ പ്ര pRāyam പ്രായം age
/py/ പ്യ kapyāR priest
/pḷ/ പ്ല pḷāvu പ്ലാവ് jack fruit tree
/b/ balam ബലം strength
/bh/ bhayam ഭയം fear
/br/ ബ്ര brahmāvU ബ്രഹ്മാവ് Brahma
/bḷ/ ബ്ല bḷayḍU ബ്ലെഡ് blade
/bd/ ബ്ദ sabdam ശബ്ദം noise
/bhy/ ഭ്യ asabhyam അസഭ്യം uncultured
/m/ maram മരം tree
/mn/ മ്ന nimn­am നിമ്നം low
/my/ മ്യ sāmyam സാമ്യം resemblance
/ml/ മ്ല mḷān­am മ്ലാനം sad
/mR/ മ്ര tāmRam താമ്രം copper
/y/ pāyasam പായസം payas
/yy/ യ്യ vayya usable
/r/ rasam രസം juice
/ry/ ര്യ kāryam കാര്യം matter
/l/ līla ലീല name
/ll/ ല്ല nalla നല്ല good
/ḷ/ vaḷa വള bangle
/ḷḷ/ ള്ള kaḷḷam കള്ളം FALSE
/l­/ mal­es മഴ rain
/v/ vara വര line
/vv/ വ്വ chhova ചൊവ്വ mars
/vy/ വ്യ vyāyāmam വ്യായാമം exercise
/vR/ വ്ര vRaņam വ്രണം sore
/ŗ/ ŗeri ശരി right
/ŗŗ/ ശ്ശ niŗŗēṣam നിശ്ശെഷം completely
/s̄v/ ശ്വാ s̄vāsam ശ്വാസം breath
/s̄c/ ശ്ച ās̄caryam ആശ്ചര്യം wonder
/s̄y/ ശ്യാ s̄yāma ശ്യാമ a name
/s̄R/ ശ്ര s̄Rī ശ്രീ prosperity
/s̄ḷ/ ശ്ല s̄lōkam ശ്ലോകം stanza
/ṣ/ maṣI മഷി ink
/ṣṭ/ ഷ്ട kaṣṭam കഷ്ടം difficulty
/ṣņ/ ഷ്ണ kaṣņam കഷ്ണം piece
/s/ sammān­am സമ്മാനം gift
/ss/ സ്സ man­asṣ മനസ്സ് mind
/st/ സ്ത vastu വസ്തു thing
/sn­/ സ്ന sn­ēham സ്നേഹം love
/h/ hāram ഹാരം garland
/hy/ ഹ്യ sahyan­ സഹ്യ Sahya mountain
/hn­/ ഹ്ങ cin­n­am ചിഹ്നം symbol
/R/ pāta പാത road
/Rk/ ഡ്ക taRkkam തര്ക്കം dispute
/Rp/ ഡ്പ takaRppan­ തകര്പിന devastating
/Rt/ ഡ്ത ōRtu ഓര്ത്തു remembered

Syamala Kumar .B, 1972, Malayalam Phonetic reader, CIIL Publications, Mysore. pp: 57-63.

Roy C.J., 1976, Introductory Malayalam Department of Malayalam Madurai University old buildings, Madurai. pp: 1-50.

7. Special Features:

The qualities attributed to the sounds represented in writing are not fully adhered to even in standard speech.

Among the vowels, the front vowels are pronounced with an onglide of |ya| and the back vowels with an onglide of |va| word initially. In word final positions they have of glides of |ya| and |va| respectively. The central vowel |a| is pronounced with an |e| colouring when it occurs after voiced aspirated stops in the first syllable of any utterance.

Voiceless stops are pronounced with partial voicing when they occur intervocalically. Though there is distinction between voiceless and voiced aspirated stops, all aspirated stops are normally pronounced with out voicing.

The vowels |i|and |u| tend to change as |e| and |o| respectively in initial and medial positions, particularly when it does not involve a change in meaning.

eg: > ‘crop’

viḷa > veḷa

> Support

tuņa > toņa

The allograph ʋ pauses certain problems. Qualitatively it has an unrounded pronunciation. In distribution it has none of the restrictions indicated for the other allographs.

The consonant s(ṭa) though ideally voiceless in quality, is normally pronounced with voicing. Particularly in medial positions in which it frequently occurs.

|yru|is traditionally treated as a vowel. Qualitatively it is more fit to group it under consonants. Unlike other consonants. Unlike other consonants it is pronounced in isolation with a|y| preceding it and an |u| following it. The latter vowel is maintained in combinations as well.

All aspirated consonants. and do not have geminated forms. For the other consonants length is represented by full or partial repetition of the graphemes in horizontal or vertical plane or by grapheme + allograph or as given. The till o when geminated changes its quality into a stop.

The consonant (phe) also represents the labiodentals fricative |f| found in English and is used in the pronunciation of some of the loan words.

Roy. C. J 1976 Introductory Malayalam

Dept. of Malayalam

Madurai University Old

Buildings, Madurai.

Syamala Kumari 1972 Malayalam Phonetic Reader

Central Institution of Indian

Languages, Mysore. Pp: 51

D. History of Script

1. Change of Script:

The southern most group of writing systems in India consists of the Tamil scripts, the Malayalam script and the grantha script. All these, like other Indian scripts, can be traced to the Brāhmī script which was so widespread during the reign of Asoka Grantha (meaning a book) was known as such because it was the script used for writing Sanskrit as distinct from the living languages or bhāṣā. This script developed also into the later Malayalam script at the Kerala court when Sanskrit words were used profusely in the Malayalam literature.

The Tamil script has to be considered under two heads, the cēra-pāņḍya script which is developed into vatteluttu, the earliest inscriptions found in the pāņḍya country are in these script. The other script kōlēluttu is the pallava-cōla script. The pallava-cōla script has intimate relationship with the Gratha and Malayalam scripts. Perhaps bearing the influence of the northern and central parts of the peninsula, with which the pallavas were connected. In a way, naturally this k!leluttu differs from the vaṭṭeluttu developed earlier in Tamil country. The letters chiselled in the inscriptions had to keep up the straight lines, avoiding the curves as much as possible, for curved lines are more difficult to be engraved on stone than the straight lines, though, incourse of time, an account of the influence of the cursory writing, curves could not be avoided even when engraving on stone. Therefore, the pallava, cōla script appears to be a series of symbols made of kōl or lines as against the cursory writing system of vaṭṭeluttu used also in manuscripts where the latter appears to be a series of symbols made of curves. Hence the name vatteluttu.

It was because of the difficulty of reading this cursory style and also because of bringing about the unity in his empire through the inscriptions written in a common script that the cōla emperor Rāj a rāja the great, displaced the vaṭṭeluttu to the Brāhmi orgin, therefore, is more difficult than tracing the kōleluttu or Grantha-Malayalam script. The similarities in the latter are easier to recognise when tracing their developments from the Brāhmi.

According to LV Revivarma (1971) that Malayāņma is the name of writing style closely resembling vaṭṭeluttu and koleluttu. But this does not show any similarity with the Arya eluttu or Grantha-lupi, from which the modern Malayalam characters have been derived. All three of them do not have aspirated and voiced letters. But according to Parameswara Pillai Malayāņma and Malayāyma were local names for kōleluttu in Kerala.

It can be easily noticed that the modern Malayalam script the grantha script can procide voiced and aspirated letters which are not available in vaṭṭeluttu and other similar system. And a Varity of this script known as Western grantha lepi was known from the chela period onwards. Gradually this Western granthan lipi came to be called Tulu-Malayalam script.

The application of Western grantha lipi to the vernacular Malayalam was the work of Thunchattu Ramanujan Qhuttaohan in the 17th century. As he wrote his manuscripts on palm leaves the character got more curves than required. The shape of the script was adopted for printing Malayalam in 1836. The mechanism of the script gave it uniformly beautiful curves and curls without damaging the structure of the letters. This standardization was the final stage of the evolutionary process of Malayalam script.

Meenakshisundran. T. P 1966 Indian system of writing

‘The Script of South India”

Publication Division, History

Of Information and Broadcasting

Govt. of India. Pp: 23-27.

Subramaniam. V. T (ed.) 1990 Dravidian Encyclopaedic Vol. II

The International School of Dravidian Linguistics,

Thiruvananthapuram. Pp: 735-736.

2. Development of Script

Brahmi is considered as the mother of Indian scripts. Brahmi is reached the south India in 3rd century B. C. The script of south Indian languages have been considered to have developed from the southern Brahmi.

According to Burnall, the scripts in the Tamil-Malayalam region had evolved from the southern Brahmi thus:

Modern Malayalam script has evolved out of Tamil Grantha characters. It is commonly believed that it took place dining the time of Ehuttachan of the 16th century A. D, when the influence of Sanskrit was considerable. Before that vaṭṭeluttu was commonly used in Kerala for all purposes as in the adjacent Tamilnadu up to the 16th century Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada have adopted the sibilants, aspirates and voiced stops of Sanskrit along with the peculiar Dravidian sounds like short e, o and l r etc.

In Kerala the early inscriptions are written in three varieties of scripts, namely, vaṭṭeluttu kōeluttu and Malayāņma. In all these three classes of scripts, particularly in Kōleluttu and Malayāņma, the forms for pa ( ), va ( ) na ( ) and ya ( ), ka ( ) and ca ( ) were very much alike and was a source of difficulty in deciphering. Further in south Travancore especially, koleluttu and Malayāņma forms often got inter mixed, and the same form sometimes stood for two distinct letters in the two scripts.

The easiest of the three is vaṭṭeluttu its forms are fairly uniform throughout Kerala. It has no flourishes and has few local variations. The general lack of long forms ēand ō, want of conjunct consonants and the omission of long forms of i and u though rare, and the want of punctuations between sentences are difficulties one encounters there.

It should be noted that differentiating marks for short and long e and o ( ) the semi ukaara etc of Malayalam are of recent origin and were unknown in early stages. It is therefore, very interesting to find that some attempts were made to differentiate these even in the vaṭṭeluttu in malabar Cohin and North Travancore. This is very well marked in malabar koleluttu where they used a simple line or a line with short upturned end to the right of the main letter for lengthening. They also marked the ardbaksharas of ma, la, la and va ( ) by an over head dot.

Available records of Kerala show that the three classes of scripts, vaṭṭeluttu, kōleluttu and Tulu Malayāḷam or Aryaeluttu were known during the period in which records are available Malayalam is distinctly of later origin and is mainly confined to south Travancore. Even in very old rock cut inscriptions one finds Aryayeluttu at least in the form of beginning salutatio very probably, vatteluttu is older than koleluttu because of its simpler contour and its closer resemblance to Brahmi forms. Koleluttu is not considered to be an independent script, but a variant evolved from vaṭṭeluttu.

The Malayalam script, as it is very today, was evolved from the Grantha script. The Grantha script is first observed in the inscriptions of pallava kings of the 4th and 5th century A.D. Gradually the Grantha characters spread through out south India.

Because of the influence of Sanskrit, Malayalam script under went a change, resulting in the incorporation of new scripts. A new literary language called maņipravāḷa which emerged due to the Sankritic borrowing, could not be represented by the limited characters of vaṭṭeluttu.

Hence Grantha was accommodated rule by side with vaṭṭeluttu. It was between the 12th and the 17th century A. D. that the maņipravāḷa movement become very dominant in Malayalam. Vaṭṭeluttu had to confine itself to a limited circle, such as pure Malayalam literary compositions like pāṭṭus, as well as in royal correspondence, records and documents. Gradually the process of replacement of vaṭṭeluttu became complete in the beginning of the 19th century A. D.

Ashes. R. E. (ed.) 1994 The Encyclopaedia of language and

Linguistics, Vol.7.

Pergamon Press Ltd, Oxford.


Subramaniam. V. I (ed.) 1990 Dravidian Encyclopaedia, Vol III

International School of Dravidian

Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram.


Meenakshisundaran Indian systems of writing

‘The scripts of south India’

Publications Division

Ministry of Information and

Broadcasting Govt. of India

Pp: 23-27.

3. Script Reform |Revival:

Concerted attempts were made to reform the script, mainly for printing in the initial stages, and later on for devising type-writer key-boards.

Benjamin Barly’s reforms in 1828. Element piānius used 1,128 types for printing his work Alphabetum Grandonico malabaricum and Nasṛāņikal okkekkam oriyēņṭum samkṣēpavēdarttam in A. D. 1172. Burly used 500 types for printing his translation of the New Testament in A. D. 1829. Barly was responsible for the giving up of the square pattern of types and for the acceptance of the round pattern.

Pianius Barly

Reform of 1876: The varāppula mission press attempted to splite the medial vowel|u,ū| as in the case of medial |i, ī| etc. in the year A. D. 1876.

Reform in 1893-1894: Next attempt to reform the script in print was that of kaņḍattil vaṛugis māppiḷa during 1893-1894. The main reform introduced by him was the spelling of the conjunct letters.

Reform in 1967: In 1967, government appointed a committee with sooranadu P. N. Kunjan Pillai as convenor and another committee in 1969 to advise them an the question of reformation of the Malayalam script. The committees in their reports have made recommendation to reduce 75% of the total number of character. The recommendations of the above two are in brief as follows:

Introduce separate markers for the vowels |u|and|ū| and |ṛ| when in the medial positions be represented as in the case of other vowels in conjunct consonants. A small circle in the case of |u| and a small circle circumscribed by a larger circle in the case of |ū|, both to show that they are the representations as in the conjunct consonants, fitted to a hook line as in |ku, kū| are suggested. In the case of |ṛ| the present signs itself be altered and used as in |kṛ|, |tṛ| etc. For the compound letters in which the first member is rēpha (ṛ) two more modes were suggested. One now in vogue, i,e, those with a dor above. Instead it can be written with | | as in |rkk| .

The 18 compound letters viz |kka| ( ) |ṅka| ( ) |ṅṅa| ( ), cca ( ) ṅca ( ) ṅṅca ( ) ṭṭa ( ) ņṭa ( ) ņņa ( ) tta ( ) nta ( ) nna ( ) ppa ( ) mpa ( ) mma ( ) yya ( ) lla ( ) and vva ( ) which occur in abundance in pure Malayalam words be retained as they are. The other conjunct consonants (most of them are from Sanskrit) are split by using crescent sign.

One of the conjunct consonants in which y ( ) and v ( ) occur as final members are split already and uniformly accepted as in kya ( ) kva ( ). The same method is adopted in the case of conjunct consonants in which n and occur as the final member as in kra ( ) kḷa ( ). For r ṛ ( , ) the present sign can be disunited and used as in kra ( ) tra ( ) etc. For ḷḷ ( ) the present method may be retained or a split usage with the help of the crescent sign may be followed.

Subramaniam. V. I (ed.) 1990 Dravidian Encyclopaedia Vol III

International School of Dravidian

Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram

Pp: 737.

E. Punctuations:

Punctuation is only a way of helping the reader to understand the sense of what we write. In speech we make our meaning clear by pauses and by the way our voice rises and falls. Punctuation is simply a collection of devices for getting these pauses and these rises and falls of voice on to paper.

The relevant facts about the punctuation system of a language is given below.

1. a) Full Stop – (pūrņavirāmam) (.). It indicates that the sentence is came an end.

eg: tiruvōņam nammuṭe deṣēivilsavam āņu

Thiruvonam is our national festival

b) It used after abbreviations

eg: udā.udāharaņam ‘example’

ki. mii. – kilometre

2. comma (,) (alpavirāmam)

Is the stop that stands for the little pauses after single words or groups of words.

a) It is using after the addressing terms.

eg: kuṭṭI, iviṭe varu

‘child, come here’

b) For indicating subordinate clause in complex sentence

eg: nin̄n̄al nirbandiccirunnillenkil, n̄ān varumāyirunnilla

c) When joining words by avoiding the group apprehension

eg: āṣan, uḷḷūr, vaḷḷattōḷ ennivarāņu ādhunika malayāḷa

kavitrayam Asan, ullur, vallathol are the modern Malayalam poets.

When add um, oo ( ), It is not needed to use comma

eg: karuppum veluppum black and white

d) For avoiding the repetition of some part of sentence

eg: kalakāran kalaye snehikkunnu, jīvitatteyum

An artist loves art, life.

3. Semicolon (;) (ardhavirāmam)

A more definite pause in the sentence is marked by a semicolon

eg: n̄iṅṅal munnil naṭukku; n̄ān puRakevarām

4. The colon (:) (apūrņavirāmam)

1. It is generally used before a list of things or quotation.

eg: 1. ŗabdam raņṭu vidham uņṭu: vācakam, dyōtakam

sounds are two type: denotative utterance, suggestive utterance

2. Mahārājāvu : kēs’avaa

2. It joins uniform sentences.

eg: āŗakoṭukkatirikkuka : nirāŗappeṭuttatirikkuka

Don’t give hope : don’t make disappointment

5. Quotation mark or inverted commas. (“ “) (‘ ‘) (uddaraņi)

(“ ”) are used

(i) To mark off the actual words of a speaker where it is those actual words that you are writing down.

eg: “Onnu cirikku” phōṭṭogrāpher paṛan̄n̄u

“Smile please” said the photographer

(ii) To make off the quotation that comes inside a sentence

eg: “oru jāti, orumatam oru dayvam” itān̄u Guruvinte aaptavaakyam (‘ ’) is used to mark off the speaker and his words.

eg: ‘Aaan varaa’ menu avan paRan̄n̄u. ‘I come’ he said.

Dashes (-) neṭuvara – or bracket valayam ( )

These are used to enclose things that are really said aside – in other words, they don’t belong to the main structure of the sentence.

eg: pracīnabhāratattinṭe moulya sankalppam purusarthan̄n̄alil – dharmam, artham, kaamam, mooks,am - adhisṭhitamāņu

bhāvatattile bhāsakal mukhyamāyum raņṭu gōtrattil (Indo Europeanum draviṭavum) peṭum.

Interrogation Mark – Cōdyacihnam (?)

1. It indicates question

eg: nii varunō?

2. It denotes doubt

eg: rāmacaritam 1300 sŗatakattil (?) viracitamāyi

3. put question mark in the sentences which are semantically question, even though they are not in the form of question.

eg: nī innale vannu?

Exclamation Mark (!) Stoobhacihnam

It is a symbol to denotes the emotions such as happy, sorrow wonder, ridicule etc.

eg: entu manōharamāya pūvū!

The Apostrophe (‘)

eg: nallāņam – (nallavannam)

The hyphen (-) Ceruvara

It is used to indicates the division of words, relation between word or its continuation

eg: “svanta karmavaŗarāy tirin̄n̄ṭu- nnantamaṭṭa bahujiivakoṭikal

Relating similar words

eg: cīna-jappan yuddham

When adding the suffixes to numbers. It is used for avoiding the artificiality

eg: 5-ām tiyati

3-um 4-um

Kerala Language Institute 1998 Malayalam Accaḍiyum

Eluttum oru style


Kerala Bhasa Institute,


Pp: 14-28.

F. Numerals: Symbols

Numerals are an essential part of the writing of a nation they are the linguistic names of numbers.

A double set of characters of the cardinal numbers are here given, the first being the common Malayalam form; the second a form introduced by ‘Europeans.

Common Malayalam New Form Name Power

Fractions are written thousands;

Mukkal ¾ 1/10 Iraņṭu mā
Aria ½ 1/20 orumā
Kāl ¼ 1/1 aval mā
Araikkāl 1/8 1/160 araikkāņi
mākāņi 1/16 1/320 mundiri
muņṭāņi 3/16 1/320 x1/4 kīlkkāl
mūnramȧ 3/20 3/1 mūnrukāņI
1/5 nālumā

Ordinal numbers are formed by the addition of |ām| or ammatte to the cardinal numbers. Thus

onnụ - One Onnām or Onnāmatte First
pattu – Ten pattam or pattāmatte Tenth
muppatu-Thirty muppatām or muppatāmatte Thirtieth
nūRu-Hundred nūRām or nūRāmatte Hundredth
āyiram-Thousand Rayirām or āyirāmatte Thousandth

Our wards, by pairs, by threes are usually expressed thus, for the muscline and feminine gender: but any noun may be placed after the numbers, as,

raņṭūraņṭu peer or raņṭūraņṭu ālū By pairs

mummūnnu pēr or mummūnnū aalū By threes

nannālū peer or nannālālū By fours

ayyanchū peer or ayyanchāalū By fives

The higher numbers are thus expressed

Ambatambatu By fifties

nuuRūnūRū By hundreds

Joseph Peel 1972 A Grammar of the Malayalam

Language, II (eds)

Church Missionary Society

Mavelikara Near Quilon

Pp: 95-98.

Subramaniam. V. I. (ed) 1990 Dravidian Encyclopaedia Vol.II

The International School of

Dravidian Linguistics,


Pp: 438.

Bapurao. S. Naik 1971 Topography of Devanagri Vol.I

Directorate of Languages, Bombay


G. Writing System:

The traditional Malyalam Orthography employs an alpha-syllabic system, in which each orthographic character generally represents a syllable. However, modifications since the 1960s aristae process of making the script more alphabetic. The general features of the traditional script are as follows:

(a) A word-initial vowel is represented width a vowel character. Traditional order of Malayalam vowels (initial ferms).

Symbol Transcription Symbol Transcription
a e
ā ē
i ai/ay/
ii o
u ō
ū au/av

(b) A consonant or consonant sequence followed by the vowel /a/ is represented with a consonant character. Traditional order of Malayalam consonants (initial forms) occulusives

Voiceless Voiced
Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Nasals
Velar k kh g gh ɔ
Dalatal c ch j jh
Retroflex ṭh ḍh ņ
Dental t th d dh n
Labial p ph b bh ŋ
Resonants y r l v
Fricative ŗ s h

(c) A consonant or consonant sequence followed by a vowel other than ‘a’ is represented with a consonant character with a diacritic, as in other Indic scripts.

The Malayalam orthography is largely phonemic. As a result, language users can interpret an ambiguously the pronunciation of the word in the written form, and given a novel word in the spoken form, they agree as what is written form must be.

There are two kinds of alphabets in use. One is the old Tamil or Mappiḷḷa alaphebet, still employed by the Mappiḷḷas (called vaṭṭeluttu), one kind of this (called kōleluttu) is using in keeping the records in Raja’s houses. The other one is the modern Malayalam alphabet (Ārya eluttu), which was used to write Sanskrit only, but is now in general use. From the old Tamil alphabet are taken the letters n|Ra| |l| and |ḷ|. Thus 6 of the vowels (,, , , : ) and 19 of the consonants ( , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) have Sanskrit origin. The Malayalam language having absorbed a great number of Sanskrit words these letters and sounds have become absolutely necessary. The two long vowels (ṝ) and (ḹ) occurs only in pune Sanskrit.

The short ‘ ’ is written only at the beginning of a word. In absence of another vowel a short ‘a’ is to be understood at the end of every consonant.

There are further some final letters, which are used to indicate that a final consonant must be pronounced without adding the short . So the dental (m) at the close of syllables is changed into ‘ ’. Another final consonant is ( ) |ņ| instead of |ņa|

eg: avan ( )

ūņ (meal)

Thus instead of (r and not ra)

Instead of (ḷand not ṛa)

Instead of (l and not la)

Hence the final (half) consonants are the following.

( written o)

Frohnmeyer. L 1979 A Progressive Grammar of the

Malayalam Language

Asian Educational Serves

New Delhi. Pp: 3-4.

Bright William (ed) 1992 International Encycloepedia of

Linguistics Vol. 2. Oxford

University Press, Oxford.

Pp: 371-372.

K. Script and Technology

Encoding of scripts – ISCII, UNICOD

Malayalam phonetic system has eleven vowels and thirty two consonants mentioned below are the frequently occuring phonemes of Malayalam for which exact equivalent symbols were searched. Script similarity method was followed. In this venture for few symbols. We could locate the UNICODE numbers for a chart ISO 8859-1. According to the nearest resemblance the symbols were selected from the chart and the html page accepted these numbers and gave the display of the sound symbols. Though the symbols were found, many locunas occurred that are explained after the Table I.

Table I

Symbol UNICODE Number - Explanation for Malayalam Speech


ә 8706 - Mean-mid central Unrounded vowel

ә 8706 & 728 - Low Central unrounded vowel which

is the allophone of the phoneme |a|

ʋl 965 - High back unrounded vowel which

is the allophone of the phoneme |u|

∑ 931 - Mean mid front unrounded vowel

which is the allophne of the phoneme


L3,T,L - Retroflex sounds

M4 - Labio dental nasal which is an

Allophone of the phoneme |m|

N5 - Dental Nasal

L6 ∑316 - Palatal Lateral

ṣ 351 - Retroflex Voiceless Fricative

š 353 - Palatal Voiceless Fricative

The above said UNICODE numbers must be preceded by a # and followed by ‘i’.

1The actual representation of the high back unrounded vowel is the allophone of the phoneme |u| is w: 2For the symbol ∑ the correct representation is ε. 3For retroflex sounds it is permissible to use capital letters. In order to maintain the uniformity the UNICODE symbol ! can be used. The same stands good with retroflex voiceless stop T also and can be replaced with ṭ. 4The exact representation of the Labio dental nasal which is an allophone of the phoneme |m| is ɱ. 5The correct representation of this will be l. 7The exact representation of Retroflex voiceless fricative is the UNICODE symbol ṣ. For š the UNICODE equivalent is given in Table 2.

For few representations such as

[b] Bilabial voiced lenis fricative, which is an allophone of the bilabial stop |p|

[D] Dental voiced lenis fricative, which is the allophone of the dental voiceless stop |t|

[j] Palatal voiced stop with a slightfriction which is an allophone of the palatal voiceless stop |c|

[G] Velar voiced stop with slight friction, the allophone of the velar voiceless stop |k|

Since exactrepresentation wasnot available, ‘strike through’ command was used in the word processor. We are yet to find the suitable UNICODE symbols for these types of allophones. For example for this symbol ‘D’ we could locate the UNICODE symbol is which is very similar to this.

In Malayalam to represent the gradual trailing in voicing at the allophonic level a line and a small zero below the letter is commonly used. For this type of representation exact symbols are not available in the UNICODE.

Problems and Solutions:

The sample for the present study prepared as an MS word document was converted to html page using Dream weaver package. Based on the script similarity method few symbols were inserted but not to one’s satisfaction and it appeared just as a dark single vertal line. This actually created problem. When we copntacted few experts in this field, they suggested creating pictures resembling these symbols in photoshop and insert as jpg file. Because that is the procedure they followed increating web documents of this type.

One will need some graphics software, either an IPA font or artistic talent, and a good deal of time to make good looking images. But it was really a cumber some procedure. The second solution was to use UNICODE symbols. As a first step, we started searching in the web for the relevant fonts suitable to our study. The Google provided sites that are working in this problem area. One such site is http://www.hclrss.demon.co.uk |UNICODE|Malayalam.html- “Test for UNICODE support in web browsers MALAYALAM” U+ODOO-U+OD>F (3328-3455) our purpose was not to find font for Malayalam language but the representation of some phonetic symbols for the phonological study.

Though the above site contained all the Malayalam fonts with their specified characters and the UNICODE equivalent, the whole thing depended on the browser that we are using; the fonts installed on our computer and the browser, options chosen. From further search, through internet only we came to know that office 2000 contains UNICODE symbols. The version of Ms office 2000 installed to our system did not contain the UNICODE fonts. Further the installation of Ms office xp helped in our search. Some of the characters we needed here were located in the windows UNICODE fonts Arial UNICODE Ms and code 2000.

The frequently occuring phonemes are listed with their equivalent UNICODE Number. Here also script similarity method is followed while selecting the symbols. Following is a Table 2 where in the phonemic symbol, the nameof the font, the UNICODE number and the explanation of the symbol are given.

Table 2

Symbol Fontname UNICODE Explanation


W Arial UNICODE Ms 019c High back unrounded Vowel

Which is the allophone of the

Phoneme |u|

ε Arial UNICODE Ms 0190 Mean mid front unrounded

vowel which is the allophone

of the phoneme |e|

ә Arial UNICODE Ms 2202 - Mean-mid central unrounded


l Arial UNICODE Ms 1E3B - Palatal lateral

ḷ Arial UNICODE Ms 1ECA - Lateral retroflex

ŗ Arial UNICODE Ms 0161 palatal voiceless fricative

ṣ Arial UNICODE Ms 1E63 Retroflex voiceless fricative

ø Arial Narrow 00F1 palatal nasal

n Arial UNICODE Ms 1E49 Dental nasal

ṭ Arial UNICODE Ms 1E60 Retroflex stop

ņ Arial UNICODE Ms 1E47 Retroflex nasal

n Arial UNICODE Ms 1E47 Velar nasal

This table 2 is designed in order to avoid searching the frequently appearing phonemic symbols through out the several fonts. Table 1 and 2 may be compared and the symbols mentioned in Table 2 are more appropriate.

Geetha kumani. V 2002 “Malayalam Speech sounds and their

Mapping to UNICODE symbols:

A Case Study”

Langauage Engineering Conference

Unviersity of Hyderabad, India

Pp: 201-207.



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