The Adlam script is a recently invented script used to write Fulani. The name adlam is an acronym derived from the first four letters of the alphabet (A, D, L, M), standing for Alkule Dandayɗe Leñol Mulugol "the alphabet that protects the peoples from vanishing".
During the late 1980s, this alphabetic script was devised by the teenaged brothers Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry to transcribe the Fulani language. After several years of development it started to be widely adopted among Fulani communities, and is currently taught in Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and other[which?] nearby countries.
ADLaM is supported in Google's Android and Chrome operating systems. There are also Android apps to send SMS in adlam and to learn the alphabet. On computers running Microsoft Windows, the adlam script is natively supported as part of the upcoming feature update of Windows 10 version 1903 (codenamed 19H1) build 18252.
Adlam has case. Supplemental letters are used for other languages or for loanwords. See Omniglot in the external links for the pronunciation of the basic letters
|𞤐||𞤲||n, any syllable-final nasal|
Adlam has a number of diacritics. The 'consonant' modifier is used to derive additional consonants, mostly from Arabic, similar to e.g. s > š in Latin script.
|◌𞥄||long 'ā' (on vowel 'a' or on a consonant)|
|◌𞥅||long vowel (other vowels)|
|◌𞥆||long consonant (gemination)|
|◌𞥇||glottal stop (between the consonant it is placed over and the following vowel)|
|◌𞥉||long modified consonant|
|𞥋||Used between n and another consonant to indicate that they constitute a prenasalized consonant|
* The haček-shaped consonant modifier is added to the Adlam letters a ('alif'), g, h for Arabic ain [ʕ], gh [ɣ], h (plain Adlam h is used for Arabic ḥ), and to s, t, d, j for the emphatic consonants ṣ, ṭ, ḍ, ẓ. To indicate the consonant is long, the combined long-modified diacritic is used. The dot diacritic is placed above the s and j to derive Arabic th and z, and above e and o to indicate a higher/closer vowel quality ([e, o] rather than normal [ɛ, ɔ]). When those are lengthened, the normal length diacritic (macron) is used, and the dot is placed under the letter.
Unlike in Arabic script, Adlam digits go in the same direction (right to left) as letters.
Adlam punctuation is like Spanish in that there are initial and final forms of the question mark and exclamation point, which are placed before and after the questioned or exclaimed clause or phrase.
|𞥟 … ؟||¿ … ?|
|! … 𞥞||¡ … !|
The hyphen is used for word breaks, and there are both parentheses and double parentheses.
The Adlam alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2016 with the release of version 9.0. The Unicode block for Adlam is U+1E900–U+1E95F:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
- Everson, Michael (2014-10-28). "N4628R: Revised proposal for encoding the Adlam script in the SMP of the UCS" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-22.
- The Alphabet That Will Save a People From Disappearing, Kaveh Waddell, Nov 16, 2016, The Atlantic
- Winden Jangen ADLaM: Cellphone Applications
- Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18252
- There are two competing conventions: the long-a diacritic may be placed over the letter 'a', in which case 'ā' simply takes a different diacritic than other vowels do, or it may be placed over a consonant, in which case the vowel is not written at all.