மலையாளத்தில் றன்னகரம் (Alveolar ṉ (U+0D29) in Malayalam)

மலையாளம் யூனிக்கோடில் தமிழைப் போலவே றன்னகரம் (ன) இயங்க ஆரம்பிக்கும். தமிழின் 3 ந‍கரங்கள் (டண்ணகரம், தந்நகரம், றன்னகரம்) இருப்பதை அறிவீர்கள் தானே.

P. Visalakshy, The Grantha script, 2003.
pg. 62
"When Malayalam became a separate language, the Vattezuttu practised in the southern Kerala might have been named as Malayanma in order to assert the separate identity of Malayalam from Tamil. The records and correspondences of Travancore Govt. were in Malayanma upto 1819 and it was during the reign of Svati Tirunal Maharaja, the Malayanma script was completely replaced by Malayalam for official purposes. Though a few inscriptions existed in Malayanma like Munciramatham plate, this script was mainly used to write on palm-leaves."

The ancient alveolar letter ṉ (U+0D29) is being made available for use in Malayalam script in Unicode/ISO 10646 web pages.

LARavivarma-alveolar-n

S. J. Mangalam, Palaeography of Malayalam script, Eastern Books, Delhi, 1988
pg. 98: " Additional symbols in Malayalam

There are two conjunct symbols in Malayalam representing different phonemes which are not found in the Grantha or other systems of writing. The first of these is ṉṯa . To write this, the unvowelled ṉa, the first of the four symbols mentioned above, is subjoined by the letter RRA. Here the actual pronunciation should be ṉRRA, but in Malayalam it is pronounced ṉṯa ." etc.,

A Malayalam script user should be able to use alveolar ṉ & alveolar ṯ individually or in conjuncts in Unicode. will be very useful to transliterate Tamil texts etc.,

N. Ganesan


Isaac Taylor (1829-1901), The alphabet: an account of the origin and development
of letters. Vol. 2, page 356,
"From this lapidary alphabet two scripts were developed, a cursive and literary script. The first is represented by the Tamil, while the other has developed into the Grantha or 'book' alphabet used by the Tamil Brahmans for the Sanskrit transcriptions of their sacred books. From it are derived two vernacular alphabets which are used on the Malabar coast; one is the Tulu Grantha (line 23), and the other the Malayalam, from which several characters were borrowed by the Christians of St. Thomas in order to supplement the Syriac (Karshuni) alphabet which they obtained from the Nestorian missionaries (see vol. i., p. 293.)

The great Tamil alphabet occupies the extreme south of India."

Student's Brittanica India, 5 volumes, Editors: Dale Hoiberg and Indu Ramchandani,
pg. 349 has the entry on Malayalam language.

Of particular interest is the fact that Malayalam is also written using Tamil Grantha
script that includes all the 5 Dravidian letters - e, o, llla, nnna and rra.

pg. 349, Malayalam language:
"The earliest record of the language is an inscription dated to AD c. 830. An early extensive influx of Sanskrit words influenced the Malayalam script (derived from the Grantha script, itself derived from Brahmi): it has letters to represent all the Sanskrit sounds, besides the Dravidian sounds. The language also uses a script called Kolezhuttu (Rod script), which is derived from the Tamil writing system. The Tamil Grantha script is used as well."

My Grantha proposal, L2/09-141r, encodes the Tamil Grantha script, that includes all the Dravidian letters. The main difference is the Vowel markers the Tamil Grantha consonants take on, and also the Chillus which Tamil script does not have.

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Dravidian letters in Grantha script - history

Some social factors that Dravidian letters came to be written inside Grantha script are described by prof. S. N. Sadasivan that may be of interest.

Dr. S. N. Sadasivan, A social history of India, A. P. H. Publishing Co., N. Delhi, 2002, pg. 604
" Malayalam rose from the status of a dialect to an independent language in the 9th cnetury. The first script of Malayalam, as a dialect, was Vattezuttu (circular or spherical writing) of Njanamonam which was the contribution of Buddhists. Between the 3rd century AD and the 9th century, Vattezuttu was the only alphabet and even in the early part of the 19th century, it was used for official records. By the 15th century, another script came into vogue, the Kolezuttu (long script) which however could not replace the Vattezuttu nor could it become popular. A third group of letters the Grantha-lipi (book script) was said to have been introduced at the instance of the Brahmins because they wanted to dissociate from the Buddhist Vattezuttu and the later Kolezuttu obviously of non-Brahmin origin.

However by the 16th century the non-Brahmins, the Sudras and the Ezhavas in particular, avidly learned the Grantha lipi and used it for extensive writing. Modern Malayalam script is the reformed Grantha letters popularized by Tunchat Ezhuttaccan."

Ezhuttaccan, was of low caste origins then (Now, there's no caste in India). Francis Whyte Ellis, a young collector of Madras, and who died (was killed?) due to antimony poisoning in the food, was the first man who wrote the theory on Dravidian languages family to be distinct and not a derivative of Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan) languages. After the demise of F W Ellis (1777 - 1819), posthumously was published his article in "Indian Antiquary " in 1878. In that path breaking article F.W. Ellis articulated the evolution of Malayalam ("Malayanma") and other south indian languages. F. W. Ellis said this on Tunchat Ezhuttaccan, father of Malayalam (then called Malayanma): "he enriched the Malayalam with the translations, all of which, it is said, he composed under the immediate influence of intoxication...."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunchaththu_Ramanujan_Ezhuthachan

I predict that same phenomenon described by S. N. Sadasivan will happen to Grantha script once it is encoded in Unicode. There will be transliterators from Malayalam web pages (Grantha script was used to write Malayalam too.) and Tamil blogs. Vedic learning and discussions may be in 1000s of blogs and e-lists.

N. Ganesan

1 comments:

K. Sethu | கா. சேது said...

//தமிழின் 3 ந‍கரங்கள் (டண்ணகரம், தந்நகரம், றன்னகரம்) இருப்பதை அறிவீர்கள் தானே.//

அறிந்ததில்லை.

நகரம் (=ந்), டகரம் (=ட்), தகரம்(=த்), றகரம் (=ற்) அறிவேன்.

அவையென்ன டண்ணகரம், தந்நகரம், றன்னகரம் ? அவற்றுக்கும் நகரத்திற்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு? புரியவில்லையே. விளக்குவீர்களா?

தற்போதெல்லாம் ஒரு Round Robib Chess ஆட்ட உலகநாயகன் போல வலையுலகில் பல மன்றங்களில் சுற்றிக் கொண்டிருக்கும் தங்கள் கண்ணில் இதுவும் தென்படின் மகிழ்வடைவேன். ;>)

அன்புடன்
~சேது