Saturday, August 1, 2009


"Mangalorean Catholics"

The Brahmi script is one of the most important writing systems in the world by virtue of its time depth and influence. It represents the earliest post-Indus corpus of texts, and some of the earliest historical inscriptions found in India. Most importantly, it is the ancestor to hundreds of scripts found in South, Southeast, and East Asia.

This elegant script appeared in India most certainly by the 5th century BCE, but the fact that it had many local variants even in the early texts suggests that its origin lies further back in time. There are several theories on to the origin of the Brahmi script. The first theory is that Brahmi has a West Semitic origin. For instance, the symbol for a resembles Semitic letter 'alif. Similarly, dha, tha, la, and ra all appear quite close to their Semitic counterparts. Another theory, from a slightly different school of thought, proposes a Southern Semitic origin. Finally, the third theory holds that the Brahmi script came from Indus Valley Script. However, owing to the lack of any textual evidence between the end of the Harappan period at around 1900 BC and the first Brahmi and Kharoshthi inscriptions at roughly 500 BC makes the Indus origin of Brahmi highly unlikely. Yet on the other hand, the way Brahmi, and its relative Kharosthi, works is quite different from Semitic scripts, and may point to either a stimulus-diffusion or even indigenous origin. The situation is complex and confusing, and more research should be conducted to either prove or disprove any of the theories.

Brahmi is a "syllabic alphabet", meaning that each sign can be either a simple consonant or a syllable with the consonant and the inherent vowel /a/. Other syllabic alphabets outside of South Asia include Old Persian and Meroïtic. However, unlike these two system, Brahmi (and all subsequent Brahmi-derived scripts) indicates the same consonant with a different vowel by drawing extra strokes, called matras, attached to the character. Ligatures are used to indicate consonant clusters.

The Gupta script is derived from the Brahmi script and belongs to the Northern Indian group of scripts. Its appearance roughly coincided with the rise of the Gupta dynasty in early 4th century CE. The Gupta script outlasted Gupta period and continued to evolve over the next few centuries until by the 8th century several different variants, such as Nagari and Sarada, appeared in Northern India.

The Nagari script is essentially an early form of the Devanagari script, which is still used in modern India. It appeared around the 8th century CE as an eastern variant of the Gupta script.

Even though a descendent of the Brahmi script, Devanagari has evolved into a highly cursive script. Many languages in India, such as Hindi and Sanskrit, Marathi use Devanagari and many more languages throughout India use local variants of this script. Hindu scriptures are written in Devanagari, a fact illustrated by the etymology of the name. "Devanagari" is a compound word with two roots: deva means "deity", and nagari means "city". Together it implies a script that is both religious as well as urbane or sophisticated.

Importantly, DEVANAGARI IS CURRENTLY USED TO WRITE AND READ: Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, (and Nepali). Goa Hindus mostly use Marathi for reading and writing and because of this reasion, they cleverly incorporated that 'Devanagari' should be the official script for Konkani, totally bypassing the Catholics who were taught to read and write Konkani in Romi Lipi that was imposed on them by the Portuguese FOR OVER 400 YEARS and even church literature is in Romi lipi.

Because of this reason and since all can read English language, Konknni in Romi should be given equal status. This well help the increase of the Konkani readership and popularise the language.

The written Konknni in Devnagari or Romi should be standardized, by avoiding portuguese, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi words snd once the language is standardised, it will greatly help the KONKANI READERS UNIVERSALLY AND all will BE ABLE TO READ AND WRITE KONKNNI IN ROMI SCRIPT. I THINK 'TSKK' HAS ALREADY DEVELOPED A STANDARDIZED KONKANI WITING IN ROMI LIPI IN GOA AND THIS SHOULD BE POLULARISED SO THAT FOREIGN WORDS ARE AVOIDED AND ALL ARE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE LANGUAGE.


FOTKIRI AXEA - Konkani Song by Antonette Mendes