Batak alphabet

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Surat Batak
250px
Type
Languages Batak languages
Time period
c. 1300–present
Parent systems
Origins of Brahmi script unclear. On Aramaic origin hypothesis: Proto-Sinaitic alphabet
Sister systems
Direct family relationships unclear. Sister scripts on hypothesis of common Kawi origin: Balinese
Baybayin
Kulitan
Buhid
Hanunó'o
Javanese
Lontara
Old Sundanese
Rencong
Rejang
Tagbanwa
Direction Left-to-right
ISO 15924 Batk, 365
Unicode alias
Batak
U+1BC0–U+1BFF

The Batak script, natively known as surat Batak, surat na sapulu sia (the nineteen letters), or si-sia-sia, is an abugida used to write the Austronesian Batak languages spoken by several million people on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The script may derived from the Kawi and Pallava script, ultimately derived from the Brahmi script of India, or from the hypothetical Proto-Sumatran script influenced by Pallava.[1]

History

In most Batak communities, only the priests, or datu were able to use the Batak script, and used it mainly for magical texts and calendars. After the arrival of Europeans in the Batak lands, first German missionaries and, from 1878 onwards, the Dutch, the Batak script was, alongside the Roman script, taught in the schools, and teaching and religious materials were printed in the Batak script. Soon after the first World War the missionaries decided to discontinue printing books in the Batak script.[citation needed] The script soon fell out of use and is now only used for ornamental purposes.

Origin

The Batak script was probably derived from Pallava and Old Kawi alphabets, which ultimately were derived from the Brahmi alphabet, the root of almost all the Indic and Southeast Asian abugidas.

Structure

Batak is written from bottom to top within one column, and left to right for columns. Like most abugidas, each consonant has an inherent vowel of /a/, unless there is a diacritic (in Toba Batak called pangolat) to indicate the lack of a vowel. Other vowels, final ŋ, and final velar fricative [x] are indicated by diacritics, which appear above, below, or after the letter. For example, ba is written ba (one letter); bi is written ba.i (i follows the consonant); bang is written baŋ (ŋ is above the consonant); and bing is baŋ.i. Final consonants are written with the pangolat (here represented by "#"): bam is ba.ma.#. However, bim is written ba.ma.i.#: the first diacritic belongs to the first consonant, and the second belongs to the second consonant, but both are written at the end of the entire syllable. Unlike most Brahmi-based scripts, Batak does not form consonant conjuncts.

Letters

Letters are called sia. Each consonant has an inherent vowel of /a/. The script varies by region and language. The major variants are between Karo, Mandailing, Pakpak/Dairi, Simalungun/Timur, and Toba:

Sia (Letters)
IPA a ha ka ba pa na wa ga dʒa da ra ma ta sa ja ŋa la ɲa tʃa nda mba i u
Transcription a ha ka ba pa na wa ga ja da ra ma ta sa ja nga la nya ca nda mba i u
Karo File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg 30px File:Batak Ba-2.svg 30px 30px1 File:Batak Wa-1.svg File:Batak Ga-1.svg File:Batak Ja.svg File:Batak Da.svg File:Batak Ra-1.svg File:Batak Ma-1.svg 30px File:Batak Sa-1, Ca-1.svg File:Batak Ya-1.svg File:Batak Nga.svg File:Batak La-1.svg File:Batak Ca-3.svg5 File:Batak I.svg File:Batak U.svg
Mandailing File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg File:Batak Ha-3.svg File:Batak Ka-3.svg 30px 30px File:Batak Wa-1.svg File:Batak Ga-1.svg File:Batak Ra-1.svg File:Batak Ma-1.svg File:Batak Ta-2.svg File:Batak Sa-3.svg4 File:Batak Ya-1.svg File:Batak La-1.svg 30px File:Batak Ca-4.svg
Pakpak File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg 30px 30px 30px 30px File:Batak Ga-1.svg File:Batak Ra-1.svg File:Batak Ma-1.svg 30px File:Batak Sa-1, Ca-1.svg File:Batak Ya-1.svg File:Batak La-1.svg File:Batak Sa-1, Ca-1.svg
Toba File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg 30px 30px 30px 30px 30px2 File:Batak Ga-1.svg File:Batak Ra-1.svg File:Batak Ma-1.svg File:Batak Ta-2.svg3 File:Batak Sa-1, Ca-1.svg File:Batak Ya-1.svg File:Batak La-1.svg 30px
Simalungun 30px 30px 30px 30px 30px File:Batak Wa-2.svg File:Batak Ga-2.svg File:Batak Ra-2.svg File:Batak Ma-2.svg File:Batak Ta-2.svg File:Batak Sa-2.svg File:Batak Ya-2.svg 30px 30px 30px 30px6

Alternate forms:
^1 File:Batak Na-2.svg (used in Mandailing) ^2 File:Batak Wa-1.svg ^3 20px ^4 File:Batak Sa-2.svg ^5 20px ^6 20px

Diacritics

Diacritics are used to change the pronunciation of a letter. They can change the vowel from the inherent /a/, mark a final [velar nasal] /ŋ/, mark a final velar fricative /x/, or indicate a final consonant with no vowel:

Latin
Trans.
Batak Diacritics      Latin
Trans.
Batak Diacritics with /ka/
Karo Mand. Pakp. Sima. Toba Karo Mand. Pakp. Sima. Toba
-a ka 33px File:Batak Ka-3.svg 33px 30px 30px
-e File:Batak sign E-1.svg
File:Batak sign E-2.svg
File:Batak sign E-2.svg File:Batak sign E-3, O-2.svg
File:Batak sign E-2.svg
File:Batak sign E-2.svg File:Batak sign E-2.svg ke File:Batak Ke-3.png
File:Batak Ke-1.png
File:Batak Ke (Mandailing).png File:Batak Ke-2, Ko-2.png
File:Batak Ke-1.png
File:Batak Ke (Simalungun).png File:Batak Ke-1.png
-i File:Batak sign I-1.svg
File:Batak sign I-2.svg
File:Batak sign I-1.svg File:Batak sign I-1.svg File:Batak sign I-2.svg File:Batak sign I-1.svg ki File:Batak Ki-1.png
File:Batak Ki-2.png
40px File:Batak Ki-1.png File:Batak Ki (Simalungun).png File:Batak Ki-1.png
-o File:Batak sign E-3, O-2.svg
40px
File:Batak sign O-1.svg File:Batak sign O-1.svg File:Batak sign O-1.svg File:Batak sign O-1.svg ko File:Batak Ke-2, Ko-2.png
40px
File:Batak Ko (Mandailing).png File:Batak Ko-1, Ku-1.png File:Batak Ko (Simalungun).png File:Batak Ko-1, Ku-1.png
-ou File:Batak sign Ou.svg kou 40px
-u File:Batak sign O-1.svg File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak sign U.svg ku File:Batak Ko-1, Ku-1.png File:Batak Ku (Mandailing).png File:Batak Ku-2.png File:Batak Ku (Simalungun).png File:Batak Ku-2.png
-ng File:Batak sign Ng.svg File:Batak sign Ng.svg File:Batak sign Ng.svg File:Batak sign Ng.svg File:Batak sign Ng.svg kang File:Batak Kang.png 40px File:Batak Kang.png File:Batak Kang (Simalungun).png File:Batak Kang.png
-h File:Batak sign H.svg File:Batak sign H.svg File:Batak sign H.svg kah File:Batak Kah.png File:Batak Kah.png File:Batak Kah (Simalungun).png
40px File:Batak sign mute-1.svg File:Batak sign mute-1.svg 40px File:Batak sign mute-1.svg k File:Batak K-1 (Karo).svg File:Batak K-4 (Mandailing).svg File:Batak K-3 (Toba, Pakpak).svg File:Batak K-2 (Simalungun).svg File:Batak K-3 (Toba, Pakpak).svg

Ligatures with U

The diacritic for U used by Mandailing, Pakpak, Simalungun, and Toba can form ligatures with its base letter:

Batak Script Description
File:Batak A-1, Ha.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak U-2.svg  a + -u = u
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg 30px a + -u = u (Simalungun)
File:Batak Ha-3.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg 30px  ha + -u = hu (Mandailing)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ku (Simalungun).png  ha + -u = hu (Simalungun)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ku-2.png  ha + -u = hu
File:Batak Ka-3.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ku (Mandailing).png  ka + -u = ku (Mandailing)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Bu-1.svg  ba + -u = bu
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Pu-1.svg  pa + -u = pu (Mandailing)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Pu-3.svg  pa + -u = pu (Pakpak, Toba)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Pu-2.svg  pa + -u = pu (Simalungun)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Nu-1.svg  na + -u = nu
File:Batak Na-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Nu-2.svg  na + -u = nu (Mandailing)
File:Batak Wa-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Wu-1.svg  wa + -u = wu (Mandailing, Toba)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Wu-3.svg  wa + -u = wu (Pakpak, Toba)
File:Batak Wa-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Wu-2.svg  wa + -u = wu (Simalungun)
File:Batak Ga-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Gu-1.svg  ga + -u = gu
File:Batak Ga-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Gu-2.svg  ga + -u = gu (Simalungun)
File:Batak Ja.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ju-1.svg  ja + -u = ju
Batak Script Description
File:Batak Da.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Du-1.svg  da + -u = du
File:Batak Ra-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ru-1.svg  ra + -u = ru
File:Batak Ra-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ru-2.svg  ra + -u = ru (Simalungun)
File:Batak Ma-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Mu-1.svg  ma + -u = mu
File:Batak Ma-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Mu-2.svg  ma + -u = mu (Simalungun)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Tu-1.svg  ta + -u = tu
File:Batak Ta-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Tu-2.svg  ta + -u = tu
File:Batak Sa-1, Ca-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Su-1.svg  sa + -u = su (Pakpak)
File:Batak Sa-3.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Su-4.svg  sa + -u = su (Mandailing)
File:Batak Sa-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Su-4.svg  sa + -u = su (Mandailing)
File:Batak Sa-2.svg  + 30px File:Batak Su-3.svg  sa + -u = su (Simalungun)
File:Batak Ya-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg 30px  ya + -u = yu
File:Batak Ya-2.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Yu-2.svg  ya + -u = yu (Simalungun)
File:Batak Nga.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Ngu-1.svg  nga + -u = ngu
File:Batak La-1.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Lu-1.svg  la + -u = lu
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg 30px  la + -u = lu (Simalungun)
30px  + File:Batak sign U.svg File:Batak Nyu-1.svg  nya + -u = nyu
File:Batak Ca-4.svg  + File:Batak sign U.svg 30px  ca + -u = cu (Mandailing)

Tompi

In Mandailing, the diacritic tompi can be used to change the sound of some letters:

ha  + tompi ka sa  + tompi ca
30px  + File:Batak sign tompi.svg File:Batak Ka-1.svg  File:Batak Sa-1, Ca-1.svg  + File:Batak sign tompi.svg 30px 
30px  + File:Batak sign tompi.svg 30px  File:Batak Sa-2.svg  + File:Batak sign tompi.svg File:Batak Ca-2.svg 
File:Batak Ha-3.svg  + File:Batak sign tompi.svg File:Batak Ka-3.svg  File:Batak Sa-3.svg  + File:Batak sign tompi.svg File:Batak Ca-4.svg 

Placement of diacritics for Ng and H

The diacritics for Ng (File:Batak sign Ng.svg) and H (File:Batak sign H.svg) are usually written above spacing vowel diacritics instead of above the base letter.
Examples: File:Batak syllable ping.svg ping, File:Batak syllable pong.svg pong, File:Batak syllable peh.svg peh, and File:Batak syllable pih.svg pih.

Diacritic reordering for closed syllables

Vowel diacritics are reordered for closed syllables (that is, syllables where the final consonant has no vowel). Consonants with no vowel are marked by the Batak pangolat or panongonan diacritic, depending on the language. When they are used for a closed syllable (like "tip"), both the vowel diacritic and the pangolat/panongonan are written at the end of the syllable.

Examples of closed syllables using pangolat:

ta  +  vowel  +  pa  +  pangolat  =  syllable
File:Batak Ta-2.svg + 30px + File:Batak sign mute-1.svg = File:Batak syllable tap.svg
ta + pa + pangolat = tap
File:Batak Ta-2.svg + File:Batak sign E-2.svg + 30px + File:Batak sign mute-1.svg = 70px
ta + e + pa + pangolat = tep
File:Batak Ta-2.svg + File:Batak sign E-1.svg + 30px + File:Batak sign mute-1.svg = File:Batak syllable tep-1.svg
ta + e + pa + pangolat = tep
File:Batak Ta-2.svg + File:Batak sign I-1.svg + 30px + File:Batak sign mute-1.svg = 84px
ta + i + pa + pangolat = tip
File:Batak Ta-2.svg + File:Batak sign O-1.svg + 30px + File:Batak sign mute-1.svg = 86px
ta + o + pa + pangolat = top
File:Batak Ta-2.svg + File:Batak sign U.svg + 30px + File:Batak sign mute-1.svg = File:Batak syllable tup.svg
ta + u + pa + pangolat = tup

Punctuation and ornaments

Batak is normally written without spaces or punctuation (as scriptio continua). However, special marks or bindu are occasionally used. They vary greatly in size and design from manuscript to manuscript.

Examples Name Function

Bindu na metek (small bindu) Begins paragraphs and stanzas
Bindu panarboras (rice-shaped bindu) Variant of bindu na metek, serves same function
Bindu judul (title bindu) Separates a title from the body of the text
File:Batak bindu pangolat.svg Bindu pangolat Trailing punctuation

Unicode

Batak script was added to the Unicode Standard in October 2010 with the release of version 6.0.

Block

The Unicode block for Batak is U+1BC0–U+1BFF:

Batak[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1BCx
U+1BDx
U+1BEx
U+1BFx ᯿
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 8.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Rendering

Unicode fonts for Batak must handle several requirements to properly render text:

Rendering Requirements Examples
Latin Trans. Image Unicode Text
Correct placement of one or more diacritics  ke File:Batak Ke-1.png ᯂᯩ
ke (Mand.) File:Batak Ke (Mandailing).png ᯄ᯦ᯩ
ping File:Batak syllable ping.svg ᯇᯪᯰ
reng File:Batak syllable reng.svg ᯒᯩᯰ
Ligatures with U hu (Mand.) 30px ᯄᯮ
hu (Sima.) File:Batak Ku (Simalungun).png ᯃᯮ
gu File:Batak Gu-1.svg ᯎᯮ
lu File:Batak Lu-1.svg ᯞᯮ
Diacritic reordering for closed syllables tip 80px ᯖᯪᯇ᯲

Gallery

Citations

  1. Uli Kozok. "Sejarah Aksara Batak". Retrieved 17 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Sources

  • Kozok, Uli (January 2009). Surat Batak: Sejarah Perkembangan Tulisan Batak : Berikut Pedoman Menulis Aksara Batak Dan Cap Si Singamangaraja XII (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Gramedia. ISBN 979-9101-53-0. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links