Lepcha alphabet

Lepcha Alphabet

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Lepcha alphabet

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Description:
The Lepcha script, or Róng script (Lepcha: , ; 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.

History

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.

Typology



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......
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