Last modified on 27 June 2014, at 14:43

Kannada/Alphabet

Kannada is written with the Kannada alphabet (ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿ). It is an abugida of the Brahmic family. The Kannada and Telugu alphabets are essentially regional calligraphic variants of a single script. The form of Kannada was strongly influenced by stone carving, and therefore most of the characters are round with straight strokes/wedges. This script is also used to write the Telugu language, Tulu Language, Banada Language, Konkani by the Konkani diaspora in coastal Karnataka.

GeneralEdit

Kannada script has forty-nine characters in its alphasyllabary and is phonemic. The Kannada character set is almost identical to that of other Languages of India|Indian languages. The number of written symbols, however, is far more than the 49 characters in the alphasyllabary, because different characters can be combined to form compound characters (ottaksharas). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme in languages like English language|English. The Kannada writing system is an abugida, with consonants appearing with an inherent vowel.

The characters are classified into three categories: swaras (vowels), vyanjanas (consonants) and Yogavaahakas (part vowel, part consonants).

The name given for a pure, true letter is akshara, akkara or varna. Each letter has its own form (ākāra) and sound (shabda); providing the visible and audible representations, respectively. Kannada is written from left to right.Kannada alphabet (aksharamale or varnamale) now consists of 49 letters.

Each sound has its own distinct letter, and therefore every word is pronounced exactly as it is spelt; so the ear is a sufficient guide. After the exact sounds of the letters have been once gained, every word can be pronounced with perfect accuracy. The accent falls on the first syllable.

VowelsEdit

There are thirteen vowels (swaras).

Kannada ISO notation Unicode name
a KANNADA LETTER A
ā KANNADA LETTER AA
e KANNADA LETTER E
e KANNADA LETTER EE
u KANNADA LETTER U
ū KANNADA LETTER UU
KANNADA LETTER VOCALIC Ru
r̥̄ KANNADA LETTER VOCALIC RR[1]
i KANNADA LETTER e
ii KANNADA LETTER AE
ai KANNADA LETTER AI
o KANNADA LETTER O
ō KANNADA LETTER OO
au KANNADA LETTER AU

Yogavaahaka'sEdit

The Yogavaahaka's (part-vowel, part consonant) include two letters:

  1. The anusvara: ಅಂ (am)
  2. The visarga: ಅಃ (ah)

ConsonantsEdit

Two types of consonants are identified in Kannada: the structured consonants and the unstructured consonants. The structured consonants are classified according to where the tongue touches the palate of the mouth and are classified accordingly into five structured groups.

Structured consonantsEdit

These consonants are shown here with the IAST symbols and the unicode name following.

voiceless aspirate voiced aspirate nasal
Velars (ka) (kha) (ga) (gha) (nga)
Palatals (cha) (chha) (ja) (jha) (nya)
Retroflex (tta) (ttha) (dda) (ddha) (nna)
Dentals (ta) (tha) (da) (dha) (na)
Labials (pa) (pha) (ba) (bha) (ma)

See place of articulation for more information on tongue positions.

Unstructured consonantsEdit

The unstructured consonants are consonants that do not fall into any of the above structures:

(ya), (ra), (ṟ) (obsolete), (la), (va), (sha), (ssa), (sa), (ha), (lla), (ll) (obsolete).

NumeralsEdit

The decimal numerals in the script are:

Kannada Arabic numerals
sonne 0 Zero
ondu 1 One
eraḍu 2 Two
mūru 3 Three
nālku 4 Four
aidu 5 Five
āru 6 Six
ēḷu 7 Seven
eṃṭu 8 Eight
oṃbattu 9 Nine

AksharaEdit

Written Kannada is composed of akshara or kagunita, corresponding to syllables. The signs for consonants may combine with the signs for vowels to form Typographic ligature|ligatures. Each kagunita corresponds to a syllable. In the table below the top row lists the vowels, and the leftmost column from row 2 down the consonants (actually represented by kagunita, namely that obtained by combining each consonant with the "neutral" vowel 'a'). The remaining cells contain the corresponding kagunita obtained by combining the consonant of that row with the vowel of that column.

Formation example:

consonant(IPA) vowels sign(Vowel, IPA) Kagunita IPA
ದ್ (d) (ಅ, a) da
ದ್ (ಆ, aː) ದಾ da:
ದ್ ಿ(ಇ, i) ದಿ di
ದ್ (ಈ, iː) ದೀ di:
ದ್ (ಉ, u) ದು du
ದ್ (ಊ, uː) ದೂ du:
ದ್ (ಋ, r<) ದೃ dr<
ದ್ (ಎ, e) ದೆ de
ದ್ (ಏ, e:) ದೇ de:
ದ್ (ಐ, ai) ದೈ dai
ದ್ (ಒ, o) ದೊ do
ದ್ (ಓ, o:) ದೋ do:
ದ್ (ಔ, au) ದೌ dau
ದ್ (ಅಂ, aṃ) ದಂ daṃ
ದ್ (ಅಃ, aḥ) ದ: daḥ
ಅಂ ಅಃ (no vowel)
ಕಾ ಕಿ ಕೀ ಕು ಕೂ ಕೃ ಕೆ ಕೇ ಕೈ ಕೊ ಕೋ ಕೌ ಕಂ ಕಃ ಕ್
ಖಾ ಖಿ ಖೀ ಖು ಖೂ ಖೃ ಖೆ ಖೇ ಖೈ ಖೊ ಖೋ ಖೌ ಖಂ ಖಃ ಖ್
ಗಾ ಗಿ ಗೀ ಗು ಗೂ ಗೃ ಗೆ ಗೇ ಗೈ ಗೊ ಗೋ ಗೌ ಗಂ ಗಃ ಗ್
ಘಾ ಘಿ ಘೀ ಘು ಘೂ ಘೃ ಘೆ ಘೇ ಘೈ ಘೊ ಘೋ ಘೌ ಘಂ ಘಃ ಘ್
ಙಾ ಙಿ ಙೀ ಙು ಙೂ ಙೃ ಙೆ ಙೇ ಙೈ ಙೊ ಙೋ ಙೌ ಙಂ ಙಃ ಙ್
ಚಾ ಚಿ ಚೀ ಚು ಚೂ ಚೃ ಚೆ ಚೇ ಚೈ ಚೊ ಚೋ ಚೌ ಚಂ ಚಃ ಚ್
ಛಾ ಛಿ ಛೀ ಛು ಛೂ ಛೃ ಛೆ ಛೇ ಛೈ ಛೊ ಛೋ ಛೌ ಛಂ ಛಃ ಛ್
ಜಾ ಜಿ ಜೀ ಜು ಜೂ ಜೃ ಜೆ ಜೇ ಜೈ ಜೊ ಜೋ ಜೌ ಜಂ ಜಃ ಜ್
ಝಾ ಝಿ ಝೀ ಝು ಝೂ ಝೃ ಝೆ ಝೇ ಝೈ ಝೊ ಝೋ ಝೌ ಝಂ ಝಃ ಝ್
ಞಾ ಞಿ ಞೀ ಞು ಞೂ ಞೃ ಞೆ ಞೇ ಞೈ ಞೊ ಞೋ ಞೌ ಞಂ ಞಃ ಞ್
ಟಾ ಟಿ ಟೀ ಟು ಟೂ ಟೃ ಟೆ ಟೇ ಟೈ ಟೊ ಟೋ ಟೌ ಟಂ ಟಃ ಟ್
ಠಾ ಠಿ ಠೀ ಠು ಠೂ ಠೃ ಠೆ ಠೇ ಠೈ ಠೊ ಠೋ ಠೌ ಠಂ ಠಃ ಠ್
ಡಾ ಡಿ ಡೀ ಡು ಡೂ ಡೃ ಡೆ ಡೇ ಡೈ ಡೊ ಡೋ ಡೌ ಡಂ ಡಃ ಡ್
ಢಾ ಢಿ ಢೀ ಢು ಢೂ ಢೃ ಢೆ ಢೇ ಢೈ ಢೊ ಢೋ ಢೌ ಢಂ ಢಃ ಢ್
ಣಾ ಣಿ ಣೀ ಣು ಣೂ ಣೃ ಣೆ ಣೇ ಣೈ ಣೊ ಣೋ ಣೌ ಣಂ ಣಃ ಣ್
ತಾ ತಿ ತೀ ತು ತೂ ತೃ ತೆ ತೇ ತೈ ತೊ ತೋ ತೌ ತಂ ತಃ ತ್
ಥಾ ಥಿ ಥೀ ಥು ಥೂ ಥೃ ಥೆ ಥೇ ಥೈ ಥೊ ಥೋ ಥೌ ಥಂ ಥಃ ಥ್
ದಾ ದಿ ದೀ ದು ದೂ ದೃ ದೆ ದೇ ದೈ ದೊ ದೋ ದೌ ದಂ ದಃ ದ್
ಧಾ ಧಿ ಧೀ ಧು ಧೂ ಧೃ ಧೆ ಧೇ ಧೈ ಧೊ ಧೋ ಧೌ ಧಂ ಧಃ ಧ್
ನಾ ನಿ ನೀ ನು ನೂ ನೃ ನೆ ನೇ ನೈ ನೊ ನೋ ನೌ ನಂ ನಃ ನ್
ಪಾ ಪಿ ಪೀ ಪು ಪೂ ಪೃ ಪೆ ಪೇ ಪೈ ಪೊ ಪೋ ಪೌ ಪಂ ಪಃ ಪ್
ಫಾ ಫಿ ಫೀ ಫು ಫೂ ಫೃ ಫೆ ಫೇ ಫೈ ಫೊ ಫೋ ಫೌ ಫಂ ಫಃ ಫ್
ಬಾ ಬಿ ಬೀ ಬು ಬೂ ಬೃ ಬೆ ಬೇ ಬೈ ಬೊ ಬೋ ಬೌ ಬಂ ಬಃ ಬ್
ಭಾ ಭಿ ಭೀ ಭು ಭೂ ಭೃ ಭೆ ಭೇ ಭೈ ಭೊ ಭೋ ಭೌ ಭಂ ಭಃ ಭ್
ಮಾ ಮಿ ಮೀ ಮು ಮೂ ಮೃ ಮೆ ಮೇ ಮೈ ಮೊ ಮೋ ಮೌ ಮಂ ಮಃ ಮ್
ಯಾ ಯಿ ಯೀ ಯು ಯೂ ಯೃ ಯೆ ಯೇ ಯೈ ಯೊ ಯೋ ಯೌ ಯಂ ಯಃ ಯ್
ರಾ ರಿ ರೀ ರು ರೂ ರೃ ರೆ ರೇ ರೈ ರೊ ರೋ ರೌ ರಂ ರಃ ರ್
ಱಾ ಱಿ ಱೀ ಱು ಱೂ ಱೃ ಱೆ ಱೇ ಱೈ ಱೊ ಱೋ ಱೌ ಱಂ ಱಃ ಱ್
ಲಾ ಲಿ ಲೀ ಲು ಲೂ ಲೃ ಲೆ ಲೇ ಲೈ ಲೊ ಲೋ ಲೌ ಲಂ ಲಃ ಲ್
ವಾ ವಿ ವೀ ವು ವೂ ವೃ ವೆ ವೇ ವೈ ವೊ ವೋ ವೌ ವಂ ವಃ ವ್
ಶಾ ಶಿ ಶೀ ಶು ಶೂ ಶೃ ಶೆ ಶೇ ಶೈ ಶೊ ಶೋ ಶೌ ಶಂ ಶಃ ಶ್
ಷಾ ಷಿ ಷೀ ಷು ಷೂ ಷೃ ಷೆ ಷೇ ಷೈ ಷೊ ಷೋ ಷೌ ಷಂ ಷಃ ಷ್
ಸಾ ಸಿ ಸೀ ಸು ಸೂ ಸೃ ಸೆ ಸೇ ಸೈ ಸೊ ಸೋ ಸೌ ಸಂ ಸಃ ಸ್
ಹಾ ಹಿ ಹೀ ಹು ಹೂ ಹೃ ಹೆ ಹೇ ಹೈ ಹೊ ಹೋ ಹೌ ಹಂ ಹಃ ಹ್
ಳಾ ಳಿ ಳೀ ಳು ಳೂ ಳೃ ಳೆ ಳೇ ಳೈ ಳೊ ಳೋ ಳೌ ಳಂ ಳಃ ಳ್
ೞಾ ೞಿ ೞೀ ೞು ೞೂ ೞೃ ೞೆ ೞೇ ೞೈ ೞೊ ೞೋ ೞೌ ೞಂ ೞಃ ೞ್