Full Text

Kharoṣṭhī script


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


Extract

The beginning of Indian writing proper is usually associated with the aśoka edicts issued in the mid third century bce . These were redacted in two scripts, Brāhmī, the parent script of all modern Indian scripts, and Kharoṣṭhī, which remained without descendants. The Kharoṣṭhī script, which is also known as ‘Indo-Bactric’, was widely used in north-west India and Central Asia from the time of Aśoka until the fourth century ce ( figure 8 ). Although nothing is known about its origin, it is generally thought to be derived from the Aramaic script. Its direction from right to left as well as similarities with Aramaic letter forms support this assumption, and since at the time Aramaic was the most important ad-ministrative language from Syria to Afghanistan, it seems likely that the northern Indian empire borrowed the Aramaic script ( table 12 ). Figure 8 Kharoṣṭhī inscription on wood, third century ce (National Museum, New Delhi) If the assumption of Aramaic origin is correct, the typological differences between the two systems are yet to be explained. Aramaic, like all Semitic scripts, is a consonant script, while Kharoṣṭhī is a syllabic alphabet. The basic C letters have an inherent V a and are modified with diacritic satellites for other Vs ( table 13 ). It has been hypothesized that this kind of V indication may have originated from the Semitic practice of optional ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top