What Kind Of Writing Is This?

The place to discuss alphabets and other writing systems.

Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby formiko » Thu 22 Oct 2009 3:30 am

booBot wrote:
Talib wrote:It looks South Indian to me. I first thought Malayalam, but it doesn't look like it is. I think it's actually Sinhalese.

No, it is NOT the Sinhalese.

(I do not know what it is, though)

I think Sinhalese is immediately recognizable.
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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby Serali » Thu 22 Oct 2009 12:46 pm

Yes and what ever the writing is in that picture it looks nothing like that.

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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby kiwehtin » Wed 11 Nov 2009 4:32 am

I'm pretty sure this is a late stage of Kawi, the script that descended from south Indian Pallava and gave rise to modern Sundanese, Javanese and Balinese scripts. The Old Kawi period lasted from about 925-1250 and modern Kawi from then until around 1500, when the new scripts were clearly differentiated. This example looks very close to modern Javanese or Balinese, without the exaggerated on- and off-strokes they developed.

Here's a link to a book article with a table of Kawi variants:

http://books.google.com/books?id=y3KdxB ... pt&f=false

Here is another picture of the same cloth, with more visible:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/boz_art/28 ... 31#preview

I can't help wondering if some of the letters were printed backwared, i.e. it might not be a real text. The letter that looks like 13, joined at the base, is identical for all intents and purposes to Kawi <m(a)> except that it is flipped horizontally from what the letter usually looks like. Otherwise, most of the other letters are easily recognisable as Kawi, apart form the strange one with a circle written inside it and another one with a vertical stroke through the middle.

There is speculation that Kawi might also be the origin of the scripts of North and South Sumatra, Sulawesi and the Philippines, but specialists in Kawi find it difficult to believe these scripts could have changed so radically from Kawi while the evolution of the scripts on Java and Bali was so leisurely and only changed their appearance superficially.
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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby kiwehtin » Wed 11 Nov 2009 4:36 am

Oh, for the photos — both your original Flickr pic and for the link I gave — I forgot to mention that you have to turn them around "upside down" to get the right perspective. Your picture has to be rotated upside down; the one at the link I give has to be flipped upside down, not rotated, for the right perspective.
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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby Serali » Wed 11 Nov 2009 5:51 am

I think you're right!

Thank you!

I wonder where the person got the cloth the text was on? I would like to have one.

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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby Sobekhotep » Thu 12 Nov 2009 1:21 am

kiwehtin wrote:you have to turn them around "upside down" to get the right perspective. Your picture has to be rotated upside down

That's what I thought. When I first looked at the image, the script looked to me like an upside-down Indic script.
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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby Serali » Thu 12 Nov 2009 5:32 am

Heh, I didn't know it was upside down.

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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby kiwehtin » Tue 17 Nov 2009 12:09 am

By the way, another bit of info...

The '13' letter that looked weird to me is probably <j>. In order to get acquainted with the script in use in Sumatra around the time the Gujaratis were a big presence in Malacca, I've been retranscribing some 14th century Kawi script from the earliest known manuscript in Malay (the "Tanjung Tanah" manuscript at ulikozok.com). I notice that the way the <j> character evolved in that particular variety of late Kawi script is very close to a '13'-like glyph. (Originally, <j> had an 'E' shape, which in Sundanese, Javanese and Balinese evolved into something looking very much like 'R'. On Sumatra though, the bottom right portion of the letter evolved differently.)
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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby Jeisuke » Mon 23 Nov 2009 6:54 am

Hi Serali,

I believe the script on the paper you spoke of is Thai. From the time of Ramkhamhaeng. See attached tables and example. Also, do a search on Ramkhamhaeng...you should get some hits.

JG
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Re: What Kind Of Writing Is This?

Postby Serali » Mon 23 Nov 2009 7:22 am

WOW!

How many Thai scripts are there? Thank you!

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