Lepcha language and script

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Lepcha (Róng) script   Lepcha (Róng-Ríng)

Origin

According to Lepcha tradition, the Lepcha script was invented by the Lepcha scholar Thikúng Men Salóng sometime during the 17th century. The inventor of the script was probably inspired by Buddhist missionaries. Another theory is that the script developed during the early years of the 18th century.

Today the Lepcha script is used in newspapers, magazines, textbooks, collections of poetry, prose and plays.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet - each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels are indicated using diacritics. When vowels appear on their own or at the beginning of a syllable, separate letters are used to write them.
  • Vowels can be used either at the beginning or end of a syllable. Consonants can all be used at the beginning of a syllable. Only some of them appear in syllable-final position and are written with special diacritics when they do.
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines and there are spaces between words.

Used to write:

Lepcha (Róng-Ríng), a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about 65,00 people in the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal and Kalimpong, and also in Nepal and Bhutan.

Lepcha (Róng) script

Consonants

Lepcha consonants

Vowel diacritics and final consonant diacritics

Lepcha vowel diacritics and final consonants diacritics

Numerals

Lepcha numerals

Sample text

Sample text in Lepcha

The Lepcha font used on this page was created by Jason Glavy

Thanks to Heleen Plaisier for help with the information on this page.

Links

Information about the Lepcha (Róng) language and culture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepcha_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepcha_alphabet
http://www.lepcha.info

Online Lepcha dictionary
http://archive.org/details/cu31924023194198

Lepcha fonts
http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&id=Mingzat
http://www.fontineed.com/font/lepcha
http://www.xenotypetech.com/osxLepcha.html

Tibeto-Burman languages

Burmese, Dzongkha, Garo, Kayah Li, Karen, Ladakhi, Lepcha, Limbu, Lisu, Manipuri, Marma, Mizo, Mro, Naxi, Nepal Bhasa / Newari, Sunuwar, Tangut, Tibetan, Tshangla, Tujia, Yi

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas

Ahom, Badaga, Balinese, Batak, Baybayin (Tagalog), Bengali, Brahmi, Buhid, Burmese, Chakma, Cham, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dives Akuru, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gondi, Grantha, Gujarati, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Hanuno'o, Javanese, Jenticha, Kaithi, Kannada, Kharosthi, Khmer, Khojki, Kulitan, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Malayalam, Manpuri, Modi, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Mro, New Tai Lue, Oriya, Pahawh Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Ranjana, Redjang, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sindhi, Sinhala, Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigalari (Tulu), Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Varang Kshiti


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