Tulu alphabet

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Tulu
Tulu-name Tulu script.jpg
Type Abugida
Languages Tulu and Sanskrit
Time period
c. 1500[1]–present
Sister systems
Malayalam script
Dhives Akuru
Sinhala script
Unsupported.
Priliminary Proposal submitted
(U+11380U+113DF )

The Tulu script (Tulu: Tuḷu lipi—written <Image: “Tuḷu lipi” in Tulu script> in Tulu script) is the original script of the Tulu language.It also known as the Tigalari script. It evolved from the Grantha script. It bears partial similarity to the Malayalam script, which also evolved from the Grantha. It was primarily used by Tulu-speaking Brahmins like Shivalli Brahmins and Havyaka Kannada people to write Vedic mantras and translate Sanskrit works into Tulu. The oldest piece of literature written using this script is the Tulu translation of Mahabharata called Tulu Mahabharato. It is currently not used to write the Tulu language as it uses the Kannada script for documentation.

Literature in the script[edit]

Compared to other South Indian languages, Tulu doesn't possess a vast array of literary works. Tulu Mahabharato is the earliest piece of literature, from the 15th century written in Tulu script. Other manuscripts like Devi Mahatme, from the 15th century and two epic poems written in 17th century, namely Sri Bhagavata and Kaveri have also been found.[1]

Region where used[edit]

The script is used all over Canara region of Coastal Karnataka.The districts include Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod district of Kerala. Some manuscripts are also found in Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru Districts.There are innumerable manuscripts found in this region. The major language of manuscripts is Sanskrit, mainly the works of Veda, Jyotisha and other Sanskrit epics. Some works are also available in vernacular Kannada and Tulu languages.The Honnavar in Uttara Kannada District is known for its Samaveda manuscripts.

Decline[edit]

There are various reasons for the decline of the Tulu script. Linguistically, Tulu was a minority language in the erstwhile Madras Presidency under the British. As such, it was never given due attention by the rulers. Secondly, the establishment of a printing press by German missionaries, who used Kannada script instead of Tulu, led to further decrease in use of the original Tulu script.

Today[edit]

Today the usage of the script has decreased .It is preserved in Museums and Traditional Maths of undivided Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada Districts. National Manuscripts Mission of India has conducted several workshops on Tigalari script. Dharmasthala and Udupi Ashtamathas has done significant work in preserving the script.Several studies and research work has been done on Tigalari script. Keladi houses over 400 manuscripts in Tigalari script.There are many scholars in this script. Namely, Keladi Gunda Jois who is a specialist in Tigalari and Modi scripts.

Recently,several books were published by Tulu Sahitya Academy of Karnataka on this script.

Places where Tigalari manuscripts are Preserved[edit]

Keladi Museum & Historical Research Bureau, Shimoga, Karnataka[edit]

The Museum has a library about 1,000 paper and palm leaf manuscripts written in Kannada, Sanskrit and Telugu, besides 400 palm leaf manuscripts in Tigalari script. They relate to literature, art, dharmasastra, history, astrology, astronomy, medicine, mathematics and veterinary science. There are several collections in the Museum, including art objects, arms coins, stone sculptures and copper plate inscriptions belonging to the Vijayanagara and Keladi eras. The Institution is affiliated to Gnana Sahyadri, Shankaraghatta, Kuvempu University of Shimoga.

Oriental Research Institute Mysore[edit]

The ORI houses over 33,000 Palm leaf manuscripts.It is a research institute which collects, exhibits, edits and publishes rare manuscripts in both Sanskrit and Kannada.It contains many Tigalari manuscripts,The most historical one Sharadatilaka, in Tigalari script.

The Sharadatilaka is a treatise containing the essence of the Tantras and the theory and practice of Tantric worship. While the exact date of the composition is not known, the manuscript itself is thought to be about four hundred years old. The author of the text, Lakshmana Deshikendra, is said to have written the text as an aid to worship for those unable to go through voluminous Tantratexts. The composition contains the gist of major Tantra classics and is in verse form.

Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal Library, Thanjavur[edit]

The Tanjore Maharaja Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal Library is perhaps one among the few medieval libraries that exists in the world. Built up by the successive dynasties of Nayaks and Marathas of Thanjavur, this Library contains very rare and valuable collection of manuscripts, books, maps and painting on all aspects of arts, culture and literature. The scripts include Grantha, Devanagari, Telugu and Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Tigalari and Oriya.

Institut Francais de Pondichéry, Pondicherry[edit]

The French Institute of Pondicherry was established in 1955 with a view to collecting all material relating to Saiva Agamas, scriptures of the Saiva religious tradition called the Saiva Siddhanta, which has flourished in South India since the eighth century A. D. The manuscript collection of the Institute was compiled under its Founder–Director, Jean Filliozat. The manuscripts in need of urgent preservation cover a wide variety of topics such as Vedic ritual, Saiva Agama, Sthalapurana and scripts, such as Grantha and Tamil. The collection consists of approximately 8,600 palm-leaf codices,most of which are in the Sanskrit language and written in Grantha script, others are in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Nandinagari and Tigalari scripts.

It contains - The Shaiva Agama is composed in Sanskrit and written in Tigalari script. Though there may be a few copies of these texts available elsewhere, this particular codex comes from southern Karnataka, providing glimpses into the regional variations and peculiarities in ritual patterns. The manuscript was copied in the 18th century on (sritala) palm leaf folios.

The digitized manuscripts of Tigalari can be viewed at the site- http://www.ifpindia.org/manuscripts/

Apart from these they are also found in Dharmasthala and Udupi Ashtamathas of undivided Dakshina Kannada Districts.

Malayalam script resemblance[edit]

Tigalari and Malayalam are daughter scripts of Grantha script.The share many characteristics with each other.Vowels and Consonants of Tigalari script is much similar to Malayalam script. Regarding conjuncts they are similar to Grantha and Traditional Malayalam, as currently Malayalam script does no use much consonants conjuncts .The historical Malayalam between 14th to 17th century show a great similarity with Tigalari script. It is assumed that there was a single script called Tulu-Malayalam script or Transitional Grantha and sometimes called Western Grantha evolved from Grantha script and later divided into two scripts.

Some others believe that the Tulu script is older and the Malayalam script evolved from it or was influenced by it,[2][3] though the oldest written Tulu document available, Tulu Mahabharato (Tulu: ತುಳು ಮಹಾಭಾರತ, Tuḷu Mahābhārata), is from around 1500 CE,[1] relatively new compared to the history of the Malayalam writing system, which dates back to 10th century CE.[4]

Characters[edit]

JPG Image

Expected Unicode character names are:[5]

  1. TULU LETTER A, AA, I, II, U, UU, VOCALIC R, E, AI, O
  2. AU, KA, KHA, GA, GHA, NGA, CA, CHA, JA, JHA
  3. NYA, TTA, TTHA, DDA, DDHA, NNA, TA, THA, DA, DHA
  4. NA, PA, PHA, BA, BHA, MA, YA, RA, LA, VA
  5. SHA, SSA, SA, HA, LLA, LLLA, TULU VOWEL SIGN A, I, II
  6. TULU VOWEL SIGN U, UU, VOCALIC R, E, AI, O, AU, TULU VIRAMA, TULU SIGN ANUSVARA, TULU SIGN VISARGA
  7. TULU DIGIT 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


A folio from Tigalari manuscript in Sanskrit language-Vidyamadhaviyam-Jyotisha Shastram

Image: A folio from Tigalari manuscript in Sanskrit language-Vidyamadhaviyam-Jyotisha Shastram


Comparison of the Grantha script, the Malayalam script, and the Tulu script (ka, kha, ga, gha, ṅa):

Image: Grantha vs. Tulu vs. Malayalam scripts

Consonant-vowel glyphs[edit]

The following table shows how consonant-vowel glyphs look like in the Tulu script. For example, the row labeled k shows ka, , ki, , ku, , kr̥, ke, kai, ko, kau, kaṁ, and kaḥ. The distinction between short e and long ē, and between short o and long ō, is not made in the Tulu script.

Image:Tulu glyphs

See also[edit]

References[edit]

TULU LIPI PARICHAYA -Dr. Radhakrishna N Belluru -Tulu Sahitya Academy Compureraised Tulu Script -Dr. Radhakrishna N Belluru -Tuluvere Ayano Samithi, Badiyadke

  1. ^ a b c "Tulu Academy yet to realise its goal". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. November 13, 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  2. ^ Kekunnaya, K. Padmanabha & Joshy, M. Prabhakara (1999–2000), The Tulu Script, retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  3. ^ "SEI: Unicode Scripts Research". Script Encoding Initiative (Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley). 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  4. ^ Andronov, Mikhail Sergeevich. A Grammar of the Malayalam Language in Historical Treatment. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1996.
  5. ^ http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso10646/pdf/tulu.pdf


External links[edit]