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|Bengali, Assamese, Tibetan|
Final Accepted Script Proposal
Tirhuta or Mithilakshar is the script used for Sanskrit & Maithili language. The script has a rich history spanning a thousand years, believed to be originated in the 10th century CE, but years of neglect by the Bihar government have taken their toll on the use of Tirhuta. It is similar to Assamese script and Bengali script. Most speakers of Maithili have switched to using the Devanagari script, which is also used to write neighboring Central Indic languages to the west such as such as Hindi. As a result, the number of people with a working knowledge of Tirhuta has dropped considerably in recent years.
History and current status
Before 14th CE, Tirhuta was exclusively used to write Sanskrit, later Maithili was written in this script. Despite the near universal switch from Tirhuta to the Devanagari script for writing Maithili, some traditional pundits still use the script for sending one another ceremonial letters (pātā) related to some important function such as marriage. Metal type for this script was first produced in the 1920s, and digital fonts in the 1990s.
The 2003 inclusion of Maithili in the VIIIth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, having accorded official recognition to it as a language independent of Hindi, there is a possibility that this might lead to efforts to re-implement Tirhuta on a wider basis, in accord with similar trends in India reinforcing separate identities. However, currently, only Maithili in the Devanagari script is officially recognized.
Signs of the script
|𑒿||candrabindu||marks the nasalization of a vowel|
|𑓁||visarga||marks the sound [h], which is an allophone of [r] and [s] in pausa (at the end of an utterance)|
|𑓂||virama||used to suppress the inherent vowel|
|𑓃||nukta||used to create new consonant signs|
|𑓄||avagraha||used to indicate prodelision of an [a]|
|𑓅||gvang||used to mark nasalization|
The first two images shown below are samples illustrating the history of Tirhuta. The first is the sacred sign of Ganesha, called āñjī, used for millennia by students before beginning Tirhuta studies. Displayed further below are images of tables comparing the Tirhuta and Devanagari scripts.
Tirhuta script was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.
The Unicode block for Tirhuta is U+11480–U+114DF:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
- Pandey, Anshuman (5 May 2011). "N4035: Proposal to Encode the Tirhuta Script in ISO/IEC 10646" (PDF). Working Group Document, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016.