Ol Chiki Script
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Ol Chiki
Ol Chiki.svg
Type
Alphabet
LanguagesSantali language
DirectionLeft-to-right
ISO 15924Olck, 261
Unicode alias
Ol Chiki
U+1C50-U+1C7F

The Ol Chiki ( ?) script, also known as Ol Cemet' (Santali: ol 'writing', cemet 'learning'), Ol Ciki, Ol, and sometimes as the Santali alphabet, is the official writing system for Santali, an Austroasiatic-Santali language recognized as an official regional language in India. It has 30 letters, the forms of which are intended to evoke natural shapes. The script is written from left to right.

The shapes of the letters are not arbitrary, but reflect the names for the letters, which are words, usually the names of objects or actions representing conventionalized form in the pictorial shape of the characters.

-- Norman Zide, [1]

History

The Ol Chiki script was created in 1925 by Raghunath Murmu for the Santali language, and publicized first in 1939 at a Mayurbhanj State exhibition.[2]

Previously, Santali had been written with the Latin script. However, Santali is not an Indo-Aryan language and Indic scripts did not have letters for all of Santali's phonemes, especially its stop consonants and vowels, which made writing the language accurately in an unmodified Indic script difficult. The detailed analysis was given by Byomkes Chakrabarti in his "Comparative Study of Santali and Bengali". Missionary and linguist Paul Olaf Bodding, a Norwegian, introduced the Latin script, which is better[3]at representing Santali stops, phonemes and nasal sounds with the use of diacritical marks and accents. Unlike most Indic scripts, Ol Chiki is not an abugida, with vowels given equal representation with consonants. Additionally, it was designed specifically for the language, but one letter could not be assigned to each phoneme because the sixth vowel in Ol Chiki is still problematic.

Letters

The values of the letters are as follows:

Letter Name IPA[4] Transliteration Shape[1]
ALA-LC[5] Zide[4] Deva.[6] Beng.[6] Odia[6]
? la /?/ a ? ? ? ? burning fire
? at /t/ t t ? ? the Earth
? ag /k'/, /g/ g k' ? ? vomiting mouth which produces the same sound as the name of the letter
? ang /?/ ? ? ? ? ? blowing air
? al /l/ l l ? ? writing
? laa /a/ ? a ? ? ? working in the field with a spade
? aak /k/ k k ? ? bird (sound of a swan)
? aaj /c'/, /j/ j c' ? ? person pointing towards a third person with the right hand (saying he)
? aam /m/ m m ? ? person pointing towards a second person with the left hand (saying you)
? aaw /w/, /v/ w w ? opening lips
? li /i/ i i ? ? ? bending tree
? is /s/ s s ? ? plow
? ih /?/, /h/ ? h ? ? hands up
? iny /?/ ñ ñ ? ? person pointing towards himself/herself with the left hand
? ir /r/ r r ? ? sickle used for cutting or reaping
? lu /u/ u u ? ? ? vessel used for preparing food
? uch /c/ c c ? ? peak of a mountain which is usually high
? ud /t'/, /d/ d t' ? ? mushroom
? unn /?/ ? ? ? ? picture of a flying bee (which makes this sound)
? uy /j/ y y ? a man bending towards ground to cut something
? le /e/ e e ? ? ? overflowing rivers changing course
? ep /p/ p p ? ? person receiving with both hands
? edd /?/ ? ? ? ? a man with two legs stretching towards his chest and mouth
? en /n/ n n ? ? thrashing grains with two legs
? err /?/ ? ? a path that turns to avoid an obstruction or a danger
? lo /o/ o o ? ? ? a mouth when sounding this letter
? ott /?/ ? ? ? ? camel hump
? ob /p'/, /b/ b p' ? ? curly hair
? ov /w?/ ? w? ? ? nasalized
? oh /?/ h (C)h ? ? a man throwing something with one hand

Aspirated consonants are written as digraphs with the letter ?:[7][6] /t?/, /g?/, /k?/, /j?/, /c?/, /d?/, /p?/, //, //, //, and /b?/.

Other marks

Ol Chiki employs several marks which are placed after the letter they modify (there are no combining characters):

Mark Name Description
? g?hl? ?ug This baseline dot is used to extend three vowel letters for the Santal Parganas dialect of Santali:[7] ? /?/, ? /?/, and ? /?/. The phonetic difference between ? and is not clearly defined and there may be only a marginal phonemic difference between the two. is rarely used. ALA-LC transliterates as "".[5]
? m? ?ug This raised dot indicates nasalization of the preceding vowel: //, /ã/, /?/, /?/, /?/, and /õ/. ALA-LC transliteration uses "m?" after the affected vowel.[5]
? m? g?hl? ?ug This colon-like mark is used to mark a nasalized extended vowel. It is a combination of m? ?ug and g?hl? ?ug: //, //, and //.
? rel? This tilde-like mark indicates the prolongation of any oral or nasalized vowel. Compare ? /e/ with /e:/. It comes after the g?hl? ?ug for extended vowels: /?:/. It is omitted in ALA-LC transliteration.[5]
? ahad This special letter indicates the deglottalization of a consonant in the word-final position. It preserves the morphophonemic relationship between the glottalized (ejective) and voiced equivalents of consonants.[7] For example, ? represents a voiced /g/ when word initial but an ejective /k'/ when in the word-final position. A voiced /g/ in the word-final position is written as . The ahad is used with ?, ?, ?, ?, and ? which can form cursive ligatures with ? in handwriting (but not usually in printed text).[6] ALA-LC transliteration uses an apostrophe (') to represent an ahad.[5]
? ph?rk? This hyphen-like mark serves as a glottal protector (the opposite function as the ahad.) It preserves the ejective sound, even in the word-initial position. Compare /g?/ with /k'?/. The ph?rk? is only used with ?, ?, ?, and ?. It is omitted in ALA-LC transliteration.[5]

Digits

Ol Chiki has its own set of digits:

Digit 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Ol Chiki ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Bengali ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Devanagari ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Odia ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Persian ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Punctuation

Some Western-style punctuation marks are used with Ol Chiki: comma (,), exclamation mark (!), question mark (?), and quotation marks (" and ").

Period (.) is not used because it is visually confusable with the g?hl? ?ug mark (?).[6] Instead of periods the script uses two dandas:

  • ? (muc?d) marks a minor break
  • ? (double muc?d) marks a major break

Computing

Unicode

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

The Unicode block for Ol Chiki is U+1C50-U+1C7F:

Ol Chiki[1]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1C5x ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
U+1C6x ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
U+1C7x ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 13.0

Fonts

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Ol Chiki Script". A portal for Santals. 2002. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Hembram, Phatik Chandra (2002). Santhali, a Natural Language. U. Hembram. p. 165.
  3. ^ Bodding, P. O (1922). Materials for a Santali grammar. Santal Mission of the Northern Churches. OCLC 14036654.
  4. ^ a b Zide, Norman (1996). Daniels, Peter T.; Bright, William (eds.). The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press, Inc. pp. 614-615. ISBN 978-0195079937.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Santali (in Ol script)" (PDF). ALA-LC Romanization Tables. Library of Congress. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b c d e f Everson, Michael (2005-09-05). "L2/05-243R: Final proposal to encode the Ol Chiki script in the UCS" (PDF).
  7. ^ a b c "The Unicode Standard, Chapter 13.10: Ol Chiki" (PDF). Unicode Consortium. March 2020.
  8. ^ "Noto Sans Ol Chiki". Google Noto Fonts. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Nirmala UI font family - Typography". docs.microsoft.com. Retrieved 2020.

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