|Direct family relationships unclear. Sister scripts on hypothesis of common Kawi origin: Balinese
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.
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. The script soon fell out of use and is now only used for ornamental purposes.
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 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:
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:
Ligatures with U
The diacritic for U used by Mandailing, Pakpak, Simalungun, and Toba can form ligatures with its base letter:
In Mandailing, the diacritic tompi can be used to change the sound of some letters:
|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:
|File:Batak Ta-2.svg||30px||File:Batak sign mute-1.svg||File:Batak syllable tap.svg|
|File:Batak Ta-2.svg||File:Batak sign E-2.svg||30px||File:Batak sign mute-1.svg||70px|
|File:Batak Ta-2.svg||File:Batak sign E-1.svg||30px||File:Batak sign mute-1.svg||File:Batak syllable tep-1.svg|
|File:Batak Ta-2.svg||File:Batak sign I-1.svg||30px||File:Batak sign mute-1.svg||84px|
|File:Batak Ta-2.svg||File:Batak sign O-1.svg||30px||File:Batak sign mute-1.svg||86px|
|File:Batak Ta-2.svg||File:Batak sign U.svg||30px||File:Batak sign mute-1.svg||File:Batak syllable tup.svg|
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.
||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|
Batak script was added to the Unicode Standard in October 2010 with the release of version 6.0.
The Unicode block for Batak is U+1BC0–U+1BFF:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
Unicode fonts for Batak must handle several requirements to properly render text:
|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|
|Diacritic reordering for closed syllables||tip||80px||ᯖᯪᯇ᯲|
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Bamboe tabaks- en wichelkoker met Bataks schrift TMnr 512-4.jpg
Batak script carved into a bamboo tube with wooden stopper (Museum of the Tropics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Bamboo with Batak script.jpg
Bamboo inscribed with Simalungun Batak script (National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, The Netherlands)
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Wichelboekje van palmblad TMnr 5991-6.jpg
Batak palm leaf book (Museum of the Tropics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Book of formulas, recipes, and rules applied by Batak priests (Museum of the Tropics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Magic book used by priests of the Toba Batak tribe (National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, The Netherlands)
- Uli Kozok. "Sejarah Aksara Batak". Retrieved 17 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- 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>
- Everson, Michael; Kozok, Uli (7 October 2008), N3320R: Proposal for encoding the Batak script in the UCS (PDF)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Kozok, Uli. articles with dead external links%5d%5d%5b%5bCategory:Articles with dead external links from March 2013%5d%5d[%5b%5bWikipedia:Link rot|dead link%5d%5d] "Kursus Kilat Aksara Batak (Quick Course in Batak Script)" Check
|url=value (help) (in Indonesian). Retrieved 20 April 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Batak alphabet.|