Multani alphabet

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Multani
Type
Languages Saraiki
Time period
c. 18th–20th century AD
Parent systems
Sister systems
Khojki
Mahajani
Gurmukhi
Accepted for future encoding U+11280–U+112AF

Multani is a Brahmic script used in the Multan region of Punjab and in northern Sindh, Pakistan. It was used to write Saraiki language, often considered a dialect of Western Punjabi language. The script was used for routine writing and commercial activities. Multani is one of four Landa scripts whose usage was extended beyond the mercantile domain and formalized for literary activity and printing; the others being Gurmukhi, Khojki, and Khudawadi. Although Multani is now obsolete, it is a historical script in which written and printed records exist.[1]

Background and origin[edit]

The script is of Brahmic origin. The script originated from Landa script, a derivative of Sharada script. It share similarities with other Landa scripts such as Khojki and Khudawadi.[2]

Usage[edit]

The script was used for routine writing and commercial activities. In the early 19th century it was adapted for literary usage when the Baptist Missionary Press produced metal fonts for the script in order to print Christian literature. The first book printed in the Multani script was the New Testament (1819). In the latter half of the 19th century, the British administration introduced the Arabic script as the standard for the languages of Sindh, which led to the demise of the Landa script of the region. The Multani script is no longer used and Saraiki is now written using an extension of the Arabic script.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pandey, Anshuman. 2012."Proposal to Encode the Multani Script in ISO/IEC 10646"
  2. ^ Grierson, George A. 1919. The Linguistic Survey of India. Vol. VIII. Indo-Aryan Family. North-Western Group. Part III. Sindhī and Lahndā. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing,India.
  3. ^ Serampore Missionaries. 1819. The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments translated from the originals into the Mooltani Language. Vol II – Containing the New Testament. Serampore: Mission Press