S'gaw Karen alphabet

S'gaw Karen
ကညီလံာ်ခီၣ်ထံး
Type
Languages S'gaw Karen language
Time period
1830present
Parent systems
Direction Left-to-right
ISO 15924 Mymr, 350
Unicode alias
Myanmar

The Karen script (S'gaw Karen: ကညီလံာ်ခီၣ်ထံး pronounced [knyɔlikhɔthi]) is an abugida used for writing Karen. It was derived from the Burmese script in the early 19th century, and ultimately from either the Kadamba or Pallava alphabet of South India. The S'gaw Karen alphabet is also used for the liturgical languages of Pali and Sanskrit.

Alphabet

The Karen alphabet was created by American missionary Jonathan Wade in the 1830s, based on the S'gaw Karen language; Wade was assisted by a Karen named Paulah.

    The consonants and most of the vowels are adopted from the Burmese alphabet; however the Karen pronunciation of the letters is slightly different from that of the Burmese alphabet. Since Karen has more tones than Burmese, additional tonal markers were added.

    The script is taught in the refugee camps in Thailand and in Kayin State.

    Grouped consonants
    က
    k (kaˀ)

    kh (kʰaˀ)

    gh (ɣ)

    x (x)

    ng (ŋ)

    s (s)

    hs ()

    sh (ʃ)

    ny (ɲ)

    t (t)

    hṭ ()

    d (d)

    n (n)

    p (p)

    hp ()

    b (b)

    m (m)

    y (ʝ)

    r (r)

    l (l)

    w (w)

    th (θ)

    h (h)

    vowel holder (ʔ)

    ahh
    Vowels

    ah (a)

    ee (i)

    uh (ɤ)

    u (ɯ)

    oo (u)

    ae or ay (e)

    eh (æ)

    oh (o)

    aw (ɔ)
    TonesS'gaw Karen
    risingၢ်
    fallingာ်
    mid
    highၣ်
    low
    MedialsS'gaw Karen
    ှ (hg)
    ၠ (y)
    ြ (r)
    ျ (l)
    ွ (w)
    NumberS'gaw Karen
    NumeralWrittenIPAPronouce
    0ဝးwawah
    1တၢtuh
    2ခံkʰikhee
    3သၢθɤthuh
    4လွံၢ်lwilwee
    5ယဲၢ်yeh
    6ဃုxu
    7နွံnwinwee
    8ဃိးxoxoh
    9ခွံkʰ ikhwee
    10၁၀တၢဆံtsʰit'hsee

    The number 1962 would be written as ၁၉၆၂.

    Bibliography

    • Aung-Thwin, Michael (2005). The mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma (illustrated ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9780824828868. 
    • Bauer, Christian (1991). "Notes on Mon Epigraphy". Journal of the Siam Society. 79 (1): 35. 
    • Lieberman, Victor B. (2003). Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-521-80496-7. 
    • Stadtner, Donald M. (2008). "The Mon of Lower Burma". Journal of the Siam Society. 96: 198. 
    • Sawada, Hideo (2013). "Some Properties of Burmese Script" (PDF). 
    • Jenny, Mathias (2015). "Foreign Influence in the Burmese Language" (PDF). 
    • Wade, J. (1849). A Vocabulary of the Sgau Karen Language. Tavoy: Karen Mission Press. 
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