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Makasarese script

Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


A syllabic alphabet of the Indian type which came into use in Sumatra in the seventeenth century. It is closely related to the bugis script . Both are thought to derive from a common source which was a variant of the kawiscript . There is a great deal of variation in both Bugis and Makasarese writing, but there are also some systematic differences reflecting differences in the sound systems of the two languages. For example, Buginese but not Makasarese has phonemic shwa . Consequently, Makasarese has no need for the V diacritic for shwa . Where it occurs in Makasarese texts, it indicates a final nasal. In addition to Makasarese and Buginese, the script has been used occasionally for some other languages such as Bimanese and Sumbawa of Sumbawa Island and Ende of the Lesser Sundas. It is no longer in use for any language. A conspicuous feature of the script is the similarity of many of its graphemes, which makes it hard to read. Several pairs of characters, such as those for na and ta, ma and da, pa and ga , are distinguished by a single dot. Structurally, the system works like other Indian-derived scripts: the 19 basic C graphemes ( table 1 ) have an inherent a and are modified with diacritic satellites for other V values. The Makasarese had no written numerals of their own and hence used the common Arabic numerals. Figure 3 shows article 16 of the Bungaya treaty (1667) ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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