This page presents
the details of the scripts of the different languages of the country. As
seen earlier, the languages of India are phonetic in nature and hence the
writing system for any language maps the sounds of the aksharas to specific
shapes. The basic set of aksharas for most languages consist of sixteen
vowels and about forty consonants. These are shown in the illustration
below. For reference, the aksharas are shown along with the equivalent
Roman Diacritic representations. The actual rules for forming consonant
vowel combinations and conjunct characters vary from script to script.
Additional information about the script is given following the image.
Script shown: Brahmi
Some additional information about the
script including the methods adopted in the writing system for
the script may be seen below. Aspects of the writing system specific
to the script will also be indicated. The reader my benefit from
looking at the pages discussing the aspects of
writing systems followed for Indian
languages for a generic view of syllabic writing systems.
The Brahmi scripts is the earliest known script used for writing Sanskrit.
According to the scholars, the period of the Brahmi script relates to
the reign of Emperor Ashoka (300 B.C.). The interesting point about
Brahmi is that virtually every known piece of writing in the script
was inscribed on stone. Variations of the script have been seen in
the rock inscriptions of south India, especially at Bhattiprolu in
Andhra Pradesh. The Tamil Brahmi, includes symbols for four Tamil
letters not seen in Sanskrit. The image below is a rock inscription
in Tamil Brahmi, from the interior of TamilNadu.
We are grateful to Sri. Iravatam Mahadevan for the permission
accorded to display the images on this page. He has also given us a
normalized (or standardized) set of Brahmi letters using which we
have designed the Truetype fonts shown in the illustration above.
The image below is obtained from the above colour image through
a separation process by converting the image to CMYK channels.
Please use the "Back" button of your browser to return to the previous page
the links below for details of other scripts.