Suriyani Malayalam

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Suriyani Malayalam (സൂരിയാനി 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.[1][2][3] 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.

Writing[edit]

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.[4] The additional letters have been approved for inclusion in a future version of the Unicode Standard.[5]

Basic Syriac ʾĀlap̄ Bēṯ based on Maḏnḥāyā form with corresponding Malayalam letters

ܕ ܓ ܒ ܐ
ദ് ഗ് ബ്, വ്
ܚ ܙ ܘ ܗ
ഹ് സ് വ് ഹ്
ܠ ܟ ܝ ܛ
ല് ക്, ക്ക് യ് ത്
ܥ ܣ ܢ ܡ
സ് ന് മ്
ܪ ܩ ܨ ܦ
റ് ഖ് സ് പ്, വ്
ܬ ܫ
ത്, സ് ശ്

Additional Malayalam letters

SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-TTA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-NYA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-JA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-NGA.png
ട് ഞ് ജ് ങ്
SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-RA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-BHA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-NNNA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-NNA.png
ര് ഭ് ഩ* ണ്
SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-SSA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-LLLA.png SYRIAC-LETTER-MALAYALAM-LLA.png
ഷ് ഴ് ള്
  • alveolar nasal corresponding to U+OD29

Vowels

ܘ݁ ܹ ܸ ܘ݂ ܝ݂ ܵ ܲ
ഒ, ഓ ഉ, ഊ ഇ, ഈ
ܟܘ݁ ܟܹ ܟܸ ܟܘ݂ ܟܝ݂ ܟܵ ܟܲ
കൊ, കോ കേ കെ കു, കൂ കി, കീ കാ

Loanwords[edit]

Over the centuries, the Malayalam language borrowed several East Syriac words. A few of them are given below:

Original Syriac Suriyani Malayalam Meaning
Emma[6] Amma Mother
Aba Appan Father
Nasraya, Nasrani Nasrani Follower of Jesus
Pesħa[3] Pesaha Passover
Malakha[2] Malakha Angel
Qudasha[2] Kudasha Sacrament
Mamoditha[2][3] Mamodisa Baptism
Sliva Sliva Cross
Isho'[2] Isho Jesus
Qurbana[2] Qurbana Eucharist (for Holy Mass)
M'shiħa[2][3] Mishiha Anointed
Dukhrana Dukrana Remembrance
Qasisha Kathanar/Kasnar Syrian priest
Mar Mar Lord, Sir
Ruħa Ruha Holy Spirit
Shliħa Shliha Apostle

Literature[edit]

Vedatharkam written by Kariattil Mar Ousep Malpan is one of the famous books written in Suriyani Malayalam.[1] Large number of documents written in Suriyani Malayalam are found among the Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis of Kerala.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Suriyani Malayalam, Nasrani Foundation
  2. ^ a b c d e f g A sacred language is vanishing from State, The Hindu
  3. ^ a b c d Prayer from the Past, India Today
  4. ^ "Proposal to Encode Syriac Letters for Garshuni Malayalam" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Proposed New Characters: Pipeline Table". Unicode Consortium. 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  6. ^ Mar Thomma Margam by Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara