The Lepcha script
, or Róng script
: , ; Plaisier
: ) is an abugida
used by the Lepcha people
to write the Lepcha language
. Unusually for an abugida, syllable-final consonants are written as diacritics.
Lepcha is derived from the Tibetan script
, and may have some Burmese
influence. According to tradition, it was devised in the beginning of 18th century by prince Phyagdor Namgyal
of the Tibetan dynasty in Sikkim
, or by scholar Thikúng Men Salóng
in the 17th century. Early Lepcha manuscripts were written vertically, a sign of Chinese influence. When they were later written horizontally, the letters remained in their new orientations, rotated 90° from their Tibetan prototypes. This resulted in an unusual method of writing final consonants.
Lepcha is now written horizontally, but the changes in the direction of writing have resulted in a metamorphosis of the eight syllable-final consonants from conjuncts (ligature
) as in Tibetan to superposed diacritics
As in most other Brahmic scripts, the short vowel /-a/ is not written; other vowels are written with diacritics before (/-i, -o/), after (/-ā, -u/), or under (/-e/) the initial consonant. The length mark, however, is written over the initial, as well as any final consonant diacritic, and fuses with /-o/ and /-u/. (When fused as /-ō/, however, it lies below any final consonant.) Initial vowels do not have separate letters, but are written with the vowel diacritics on an &-shaped zero-consonant......