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HandWiki. Chakma Alphabet. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/31879 (accessed on 14 June 2024).
HandWiki. Chakma Alphabet. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/31879. Accessed June 14, 2024.
HandWiki. "Chakma Alphabet" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/31879 (accessed June 14, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, October 30). Chakma Alphabet. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/31879
HandWiki. "Chakma Alphabet." Encyclopedia. Web. 30 October, 2022.
Chakma Alphabet
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The Chakma alphabet (Ajhā pāṭh), also called Ojhapath, Ojhopath, Aaojhapath, is an abugida used for the Chakma language.

chakma ojhapath ajhā

1. Origin

The Chakma alphabet is probably descended from Brahmi through Pallava. Proto Chakma developed around the 6th century CE. Old Chakma developed in the 8th century CE. Classical Literary Chakma was used in the 11th to 15th centuries and the current Standard Chakma was developed and revived in the 20th century.

Classical Chakma was probably a sister script of Tai Tham and Tai Lue scripts of Northern Thailand also from the 8th century CE.

2. Structure

Chakma is of the Brahmic type: the consonant letters contain an inherent vowel. Unusually for Brahmic scripts, the inherent vowel in Chakma is a long 'ā' (aː) as opposed to short 'a' (ə) which is standard in most other languages of India such as Hindi, Marathi or Tamil. Consonant clusters are written with conjunct characters, and a visible vowel killer shows the deletion of the inherent vowel when there is no conjunct.

2.1. Vowels

Four independent vowels exist: Template:Script/Chakma a, Template:Script/Chakma i, Template:Script/Chakma u, and Template:Script/Chakma e. Other vowels in initial position are formed by adding the vowel sign to Template:Script/Chakma a, as in Template:Script/Chakma ī, Template:Script/Chakma ū, Template:Script/Chakma ai, Template:Script/Chakma oi. Some modern writers are generalizing this spelling in Template:Script/Chakma i, Template:Script/Chakma u, and Template:Script/Chakma e.

Chakma vowel signs with the letter Template:Script/Chakma ka are given below:

Template:Script/Chakma Ka = Template:Script/Chakma Ka

Template:Script/Chakma Ka = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - a (11127)

Template:Script/Chakma Ki = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - i (11128)

Template:Script/Chakma Kī = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - ī (11129)

Template:Script/Chakma Ku = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - u (1112A)

Template:Script/Chakma Kū = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - ū (1112B)

Template:Script/Chakma Ke = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - e (1112C)

Template:Script/Chakma Kāi = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - āi (1112D)

Template:Script/Chakma Ko = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - o (1112E)

Template:Script/Chakma Kau = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - au (1112F)

Template:Script/Chakma Koi = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - oi (11130)

Template:Script/Chakma Kaṃ = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - ṃ (11100)

Template:Script/Chakma Kaṃ = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - ṃ (11101)

Template:Script/Chakma Kaḥ = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - ḥ (11102)

Template:Script/Chakma K = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma - MAAYYAA (11134)

One of the interesting features of Chakma writing is that candrabindu (cānaphudā) can be used together with anusvara (ekaphudā) and visarga (dviphudā):

Template:Script/Chakma Aḥṃ = Template:Script/Chakma ā + Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma Aṃṃ = Template:Script/Chakma ā + Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma Uṃṃ = Template:Script/Chakma u + Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma Muṃ = Template:Script/Chakma mā + Template:Script/Chakma

2.2. Consonants with Killed Vowels and Conjunct Consonants

Like other Brahmic scripts, Chakma makes use of the maayyaa (killer) to invoke conjoined consonants. In the past, practice was much more common than it is today. Like the Myanmar script, Chakma is encoded with two vowel-killing characters in order to conform to modern user expectations. As shown above, most letters have their vowels killed with the use of the explicit maayyaa:

𑄇𑄴 k = 𑄇 kā + 𑄴 MAAYYAA

In 2001 an orthographic reform was recommended in the book Cāṅmā pattham pāt which would limit the standard repertoire of conjuncts to those composed with the five letters 𑄠 yā, 𑄢 rā, 𑄣 lā, 𑄤 wā, and 𑄚 nā. The four here are the most widely accepted repertoire of conjuncts.

ya: X + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄠 yā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

ra: X + Template:Script/Chakma + Template:Script/Chakma rā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

la: X + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + Template:Script/Chakma lā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

wa: X + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + Template:Script/Chakma wā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

No separate conjunct forms of subjoined full-form -yā or -rā appear to exist. The fifth of these conjuncts, the -na conjunct, is exemplary of the orthographic shift which has taken place in the Chakma language.

na: X + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + Template:Script/Chakma nā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

While some writers would indeed write kakna (in ligating style) as 𑄇𑄇𑄳𑄚 or (in subjoining style) as 𑄇𑄇𑄳𑄚, most now would probably expect it to be written as 𑄇𑄇𑄴𑄚. The ligating style of glyphs is now considered old-fashioned. Thus, taking the letter 𑄟 mā as the second element, while the glyph shapes 𑄇𑄳𑄟 kmā, 𑄖𑄳𑄟 tmā, 𑄚𑄳𑄟 nmā, 𑄝𑄳𑄝 bbā, 𑄟𑄳𑄟 mmā, 𑄣𑄳𑄣 llā, 𑄥𑄳𑄟 smā, and 𑄦𑄳𑄟 hmā are attested, most users now prefer the glyph shapes 𑄇𑄳𑄟 kmā, 𑄖𑄳𑄟 tmā, 𑄚𑄳𑄟 nmā, 𑄝𑄳𑄝 bbā, 𑄟𑄳𑄟 mmā, 𑄣𑄳𑄣 llā, 𑄥𑄳𑄟 smā, and 𑄦𑄳𑄟 hmā. Again, this distinction is stylistic and not orthographic.

The 2004 book Phadagaṅ shows examples of the five conjuncts above together alongside conjuncts formed with 𑄝 bā, 𑄟 mā, and 𑄦 hā. These are all formed by simple subjoining.

ba: X + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄝 nā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

ma: X + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + Template:Script/Chakma nā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

ha: X + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + Template:Script/Chakma nā

Template:Script/Chakma

Template:Script/Chakma

In the 1982 book Cāṅmār āg pudhi a much wider range of conjunct pairs is shown, some of them with fairly complicated glyphs:

Template:Script/Chakma Kkā = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄇 Kā

Template:Script/Chakma Ktā = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄑 Tā

Template:Script/Chakma Ktā = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄖 Tā

Template:Script/Chakma Kmā = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄟 Mā

Template:Script/Chakma Kcā = Template:Script/Chakma Kā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄌 Cā

Template:Script/Chakma ńkā = Template:Script/Chakma ńā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄇 Kā

Template:Script/Chakma ńkā = Template:Script/Chakma ńā + Template:Script/Chakma VIRAMA + 𑄉 Gā

Template:Script/Chakma ccā = Template:Script/Chakma cā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄌 Cā

Template:Script/Chakma Cchā = Template:Script/Chakma Cā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄍 Chā

Template:Script/Chakma ñcā = Template:Script/Chakma ñā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄌 Cā

Template:Script/Chakma ñjā = Template:Script/Chakma ñā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄎 Jā

Template:Script/Chakma Ñjhā = Template:Script/Chakma ñā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄏 Jhā

Template:Script/Chakma Ttā = Template:Script/Chakma Tā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄑 Tā

Template:Script/Chakma Ttā = Template:Script/Chakma Tā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄖 Tā

Template:Script/Chakma Tmā = Template:Script/Chakma Tā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄟 mā

Template:Script/Chakma Tthā = Template:Script/Chakma Tā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄗 Thā

Template:Script/Chakma Ddā = Template:Script/Chakma Dā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄘 Dā

Template:Script/Chakma Ddhā = 𑄘 Dā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄙 Dhā

Template:Script/Chakma ntā = 𑄚 nā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄖 tā

Template:Script/Chakma nthā = 𑄚 nā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄗 thā

Template:Script/Chakma nmā = 𑄚 nā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄟 mā

Template:Script/Chakma ppā = 𑄛 pā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄛 pā

Template:Script/Chakma bbā = 𑄝 bā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄝 bā

Template:Script/Chakma mmā = 𑄟 mā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄟 mā

Template:Script/Chakma jjā = 𑄎 jā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄎 jā

Template:Script/Chakma lkā = 𑄣 lā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄇 kā

Template:Script/Chakma lgā = 𑄣 lā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄉 gā

Template:Script/Chakma llā = 𑄣 lā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄣 lā

Template:Script/Chakma ltā = 𑄣 lā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄑 tā

Template:Script/Chakma lpā = 𑄣 lā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄛 pā

Template:Script/Chakma lchā = 𑄣 lā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄍 chā

Template:Script/Chakma stā = 𑄥 sā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄑 tā

Template:Script/Chakma skā = 𑄥 sā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄇 kā

Template:Script/Chakma spā = 𑄥 sā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄛 pā

Template:Script/Chakma smā = 𑄥 sā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄟 mā

Template:Script/Chakma hmā = 𑄦 hā + 𑄳 VIRAMA + 𑄟 hmā

3. Letter, Punctuation and Digit Names

Chakma letters have a descriptive name followed by a traditional Brahmic consonant. These are given in annotations to the character names. Alongside a single and double danda punctuation, Chakma has a unique question mark, and a section sign, Phulacihna. There is some variation in the glyphs for the Phulacihna,some looking like flowers or leaves. A set of digits exists although Bengali digits are also used.

4. Unicode

Chakma script was added to the Unicode Standard in January, 2012 with the release of version 6.1.

The Unicode block for Chakma script is U+11100–U+1114F. Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points:

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