Re: Devanagari (was Re: sorry Mark Lang...)
|From:||Scott Heath <sheath@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, June 20, 2004, 18:45|
From what I understand, Brahmi was the script used for Classical Sanskrit,
and Devanagari later supplanted Brahmi as the preferred script to write
Sanskrit. Other languages, such as Hindi, also use the Devanagari abugida.
The Indian grammarian Pannini used Brahmi for his writings, including his
all-important and rather algebraic Sandhi-- something like Euclid's axioms
for Sanskrit morphosyntax.
Various Indic scripts are descended from Brahmi, and others are descended
from Devanagari, which was influenced by Brahmi. The sheer number and
variety of Indic scripts is a source of wonder and delight for the
conlanger/conscripter in me.
I recommend http://www.omniglot.com/ for more information on Indic scripts
and their history.
At 21:20 06/17/2004 -0400, you wrote:
> > An "abugida" is sometimes called an "alphasyllabary". It's an alphabet,
> > but a bare consonant symbol actually represents an entire syllable,
> > containing that consonant plus a default vowel. Modifications or
> > additions to the bare consonant indicate a different vowel or the
> > absence of any vowel. The vowels also have their own letters, but these
> > are not used except for syllables that contain no consonant. The
> > Devanagari script - used by Sanskrit and Hindi, and the ancestor of
> > many other Indic writing system - is like this.
>I was under the impression that Devanagari was not the ancestor of
>the Indic scripts, but that they had a common ancester (Brahmi Script).
> > The diacritics are all mnemonic: - for macron, ' for acute accent, > for
> > circumflex, < for caron, ( for breve, ~ for tilde, ! for grave accent
> > (well, okay, that one's less mnemonic; I don't know why not `), / for
> > slash-through (as in ø), . for dot below, ',' for cedilla, etc,
> > etc.
>As are the shortcut key sequences in MS Word. (But of course, those
>only work for the Windows character set, which includes the letters
>with diacritical marks used in most of the Western European languages.)
>Cntl~ + n gives n with tilde, cntl-apostrophe + e gives e with acute, etc.