Tolong Siki script

Ian James
© February 2017

script name

This attractive alphabetic script was published by Narayan Oraon in 1999 for use in spelling Kurukh, a North Dravidian language spoken by people in the Jharkhand and Bihar states of India. It is unusually regular in structure, and has little in common with the better-known Brahmi-style Indian scripts. Some of the information here comes from Anshuman Pandey’s Unicode proposal (for block U+11c00).


The basic glyph shapes are relatively few in number, and feature similarities via rotation and reflection. Aspirated plosives are regularly formed with the addition of a circle to the unaspirated form. There are diacritics (dot below, bar below) to make consonants for other languages. There is some doubt about the value of N WITH TILDE BELOW, sometimes labeled NNY. It may be a creaky or murmured [n].


The vowel glyphs are slimmer than the consonantal ones, which difference makes for comfortable reading. There are modifier marks for nasalization (dot above) and length (double dots after). The vowel index is used to join a vowel-initial morpheme to the end of a word. There is a diacritic bar above to make vowels for other languages.


The numerals feature a few simple shapes transformed by rotation and reflection.


This shows the Tolong Siki alphabet in use, with a transcription in the Devanagari script below.


This page © Ian James – last modified Feb.22,2017