Suriyani Malayalam (സുറിയാനി മലയാളം, ܣܘܼܝܲܢܝܼ ܡܲܠܲܝܵܠܲܡ), also known as Karshoni or Syriac Malayalam, is a dialect of Malayalam written in a variant form of Syriac script which was popular among the Saint Thomas Christians (also known as Syrian Christians or Nasranis) of Kerala in India. It uses Malayalam grammar, the East Syriac script with special orthographic features, and vocabulary from Malayalam and East Syriac. This originated in the South Indian region of the Malabar Coast (modern-day Kerala). Until the 19th century, the script was widely used by Syrian Christians in Kerala.
There were many problems in writing Malayalam using the script of Syriac, a Semitic language. Only 22 letters were available from East Syriac orthography to render over 53 phonemes of Malayalam. These problems were overcome by creating additional letters. Basic Syriac ʾĀlap̄ Bēṯ based on Maḏnḥāyā form with corresponding Malayalam letters
Additional Malayalam letters
- alveolar nasal corresponding to U+OD29
|ഒ, ഓ||ഏ||എ||ഉ, ഊ||ഇ, ഈ||ആ||അ|
|കൊ, കോ||കേ||കെ||കു, കൂ||കി, കീ||കാ||ക|
The additional letters for Suriyani Malayalam were added to the Unicode Standard in June, 2017 with the release of version 10.0.
The Unicode block for Syriac Supplement is U+0860–U+086F:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
|Original Syriac||Suriyani Malayalam||Meaning|
|Qurbana||Qurbana||Eucharist (for Holy Mass)|
Vedatharkam written by Kariattil Mar Ousep is one of the famous books written in Suriyani Malayalam. Large number of documents written in Suriyani Malayalam are found among the Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis of Kerala.
- "City Youth Learn Dying Language, Preserve It". The New Indian Express. May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- Suriyani Malayalam, Nasrani Foundation
- A sacred language is vanishing from State, The Hindu
- Prayer from the Past, India Today
- "Proposal to Encode Syriac Letters for Garshuni Malayalam" (PDF).
- Mar Thomma Margam by Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara