The Lontara script is descended from the Brahmi
script of ancient India. The name lontara derives from the Malay
word for the palmyra palm, lontar, the leaves of which are the
traditional material for manuscripts in India, South East Asia and Indonesia.
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet / alphasyllabary
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
In common with other Brahmi-derived
syllabic alphabets, each consonant has an inherent vowel [a], other
vowels are indicated by adding diacritics above or below a consonant.
Used to write:
Bugis or Buginese (Basa Ugi / ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ),
Makassarese (ᨅᨔ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ)
and Mandar, Austronesian languages spoken on the
Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Both scripts were once used to write laws, treaties, maps, etc in Bugis,
but are now only used for marriage ceremonies. The Makassarese script is
still widely used to write Makassarese (ᨅᨔ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ / Basa Mangkasara'),
although the Latin alphabet is officially favoured.
Lontara script for Bugis
The pallawa is used to separate rhythmico-intonational
groups, and has a similar function to the fullstop and comma. It
can also be used to denote the doubling of a word or its root.
Sample text in the Lontara script in Bugis
nako əŋka taupasala. aja mupatalalowi pacalamu
ritopasalae. pasitujuwimutowisa asalana pacalamu. apa ikonatu
nagili dewatea. nako baicumupi asalana tauwe. muperajaisa.
padatowi. nako pasalai tauwe. aja timucalai risitinajanaetosa asalana.
If you deal with a person guilty of something, do not punish him
too harshly. Always make the punishment commensurable with the guilt,
since God will be angry with you if the person's guilt is not great
and you are exaggerating it. Equally, if a person is guilty, do not
let him go without a punishment in accordance with his guilt.