Mon script

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The Mon script (Mon: အက္ခရ်မန်, Burmese: မွန်အက္ခရာ, Thai: อักษรมอญ) is a Brahmic abugida writing system used for writing Mon language which was derived from the Burmese script.[3]

Mon script
အက္ခရ်မန်, အခဝ်မန်
Script type
LanguagesMon language
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Tai Le, Tai Tham
Unicode
[a] The Semitic origin of the Brahmic scripts is not universally agreed upon.

HistoryEdit

 
Thai Mon language and Thai language.
 
Thai Mon language and Thai language in Wat Muang.

The Old Mon script has been dated to the 6th century,[4] with the earliest inscriptions found in Nakhon Pathom and Saraburi (in Thailand). It may be the ancestral script of the modern Mon (or Burma Mon) script, although there is no extant evidence linking the Old Dvaravati Mon script and the Burma Mon script.[5]

The modern Mon alphabet is an adaptation of the Burmese script; it utilizes several letters and diacritics that do not exist in Burmese, such as the stacking diacritic for medial 'l', which is placed underneath the letter.[6] There is a great deal of discrepancy between the written and spoken forms of Mon, with a single pronunciation capable of having several spellings.[7] The Mon script also makes prominent use of consonant stacking, to represent consonant clusters found in the language.

ConsonantsEdit

The Mon alphabet contains 35 consonants (including a zero consonant), as follows, with consonants belonging to the breathy register indicated in gray:[8][9]

က
k (/kaˀ/)

kh (/kʰaˀ/)

g (/kɛ̤ˀ/)

gh (/kʰɛ̤ˀ/)

ṅ (/ŋɛ̤ˀ/)

c (/caˀ/)

ch (/cʰaˀ/)

j (/cɛ̤ˀ/)

jh (/cʰɛ̤ˀ/)
ဉ / ည
ñ (/ɲɛ̤ˀ/)

ṭ (/taˀ/)

ṭh (/tʰaˀ/)

ḍ (/ɗaˀ/~[daˀ])

ḍh (/tʰɛ̤ˀ/)

ṇ (/naˀ/)

t (/taˀ/)

th (/tʰaˀ/)

d (/tɛ̤ˀ/)

dh (/tʰɛ̤ˀ/)

n (/nɛ̤ˀ/)

p (/paˀ/)

ph (/pʰaˀ/)

b (/pɛ̤ˀ/)

bh (/pʰɛ̤ˀ/)

m (/mɛ̤ˀ/)

y (/jɛ̤ˀ/)

r (/rɛ̤ˀ/)

l (/lɛ̤ˀ/)

w (/wɛ̤ˀ/)

s (/saˀ/)

h (/haˀ/)

ḷ (/laˀ/)

ṗ (/ɓaˀ/~[baˀ])

a (/ʔaˀ/)

ḅ (/ɓɛ̤ˀ/~[bɛ̤ˀ])

In the Mon script, consonants belong to one of two registers: clear and breathy, each of which has different inherent vowels and pronunciations for the same set of diacritics. For instance, က, which belongs to the clear register, is pronounced /kaˀ/, while is pronounced /kɛ̤ˀ/, to accommodate the vowel complexity of the Mon phonology.[10] The addition of diacritics makes this obvious. Whereas in Burmese spellings with the same diacritics are rhyming, in Mon this depends on the consonant's inherent register. A few examples are listed below:

  • က + ကဳ, pronounced /kɔe/
  • + ဂဳ, pronounced /ki̤/
  • က + ကူ, pronounced /kao/
  • + ဂူ, pronounced /kṳ/

The Mon language has 8 medials, as follows: ္ၚ (/-ŋ-/), (/-n-/), (/-m-/), (/-j-/), (/-r-/), (/-l-/), (/-w-/), and (/-h-/).

Consonantal finals are indicated with a virama (), as in Burmese: however, instead of being pronounced as glottal stops as in Burmese, final consonants usually keep their respective pronunciations. Furthermore, consonant stacking is possible in Mon spellings, particularly for Pali and Sanskrit-derived vocabulary.

VowelsEdit

Mon uses the same diacritics and diacritic combinations as in Burmese to represent vowels, with the addition of a few diacritics unique to the Mon script, including (/ɛ̀a/), and (/i/), since the diacritic represents /ìˀ/.[11] Also, (/e/) is used instead of , as in Burmese.

Main vowels and diphthongsEdit

Initial or independent symbol diacritic Transcription and notes[3][11]
none, inherent vowel a or e - /a/, /ɛ̀/ after some consonants
အာ ā - spelled as to avoid confusion with certain letters
i
ဣဳ ī or oe - /ì/, /ɔe/ after some consonants
u
ဥူ ū or ao - /ù/, /ao/ after some consonants
e
အဲ ai
ော o - spelled as ေါ to avoid confusion with certain consonants.
အဴ‌‍‍ āi/oi
အံ‌‍‍ òm
အး ah

Other vowels and diphthongsEdit

Diacritic Transcription and notes[3][11]
ို iu
ာံ āṃ
ုံ uṃ
ေံ eṃ
ောံ oṃ
aṁ
ီု uṁ
ာဲ āai
ုဲ uai
ေဲ eai
ောဲ oai
ိုဲ iuai
ဵု uew

PunctuationEdit

Diacritic Transcription and notes[3][11]
comma
period

UnicodeEdit

The Mon script has been encoded as a part of the Myanmar block with the release version of Unicode 3.0.

Myanmar[1]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+100x က
U+101x
U+102x
U+103x     
U+104x
U+105x
U+106x
U+107x
U+108x
U+109x
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 13.0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Diringer, David (1948). Alphabet a key to the history of mankind. p. 411.
  2. ^ Aung-Thwin, Michael A. (2005). The Mon Paradigm and the Origins of the Burma Script. University of Hawai'i Press. pp. 154–178. ISBN 9780824828868. JSTOR j.ctt1wn0qs1.10.
  3. ^ a b c d Omniglot
  4. ^ Bauer, Christian (1991). "Notes on Mon Epigraphy". Journal of the Siam Society. 79 (1): 35.
  5. ^ Aung-Thwin 2005: 177–178
  6. ^ "Proposal for encoding characters for Myanmar minority languages in the UCS" (PDF). International Organization for Standardization. 2006-04-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-07-23. Retrieved 2006-07-09.
  7. ^ Jenny, Mathias (2001). "A Short Introduction to the Mon Language" (PDF). Mon Culture and Literature Survival Project (MCL). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-09-30. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Dho-ong Jhaan (2010-05-09). "Mon Consonants Characters". Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  9. ^ Dho-ong Jhaan (2009-10-01). "Romanization for Mon Script by Transliteration Method". Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Mon". Concise encyclopedia of languages of the world. Elsevier. 2009. pp. 719–20. ISBN 978-0-08-087774-7.
  11. ^ a b c d Dho-ong Jhaan (2010-05-10). "Mon Vowels Characters". Retrieved 12 September 2010.