Sharada — 800 AD, India

Sharada "k"

Sharada — also called Sarada and Sharda — is descended from Gupta through Kutila (a writing system so obscure that I wasn’t able to find enough to write about, and I have pretty low standards).  Sharada’s use centered in Kashmir, but extended out into what are now neighbouring countries.

It was commonly used from about 800 AD until around 1925 AD.  It did change so much by around 1400 AD that it is commonly given a different name, Devasesa after that.  Sharada doesn’t suit spoken Kashmiri particularly well, and it got pushed out by a variant of Arabic in the 20th century.  Sharada is still used, but only a little bit for ceremonial purposes.

Sharada, like all the Brahmi-derived scripts, is an abugida with little to differentiate it from the other Brahmi-derived scripts.  Like essentially all of the Indic scripts, it has a virama — a diacritic which “kills” the vowel in the syllable, turning the character from a syllable into a consonant.  Unlike most Brahmi-derived scripts, in Sharada, the virama is drawn to the right of the glyph that it modifies.  (Above or below  is more common.)


Links: Wikipedia, Ancient Scripts, Omniglot, Unicode proposal, Kashmiri Language

About ducky

I'm a computer programmer professionally, currently working on mapping applications. I have been interested non-professionally for a long time in the effect on society on advances in communications technology -- things like writing, vowels, spaces between words, paper, etc.
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