Kannada alphabet

Kannada ( 0C80 to 0CFF )

The Kannada script ( Kannada: ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿ


The Kannada script has the same origin as the Telugu font used in the neighboring federal state of Andhra Pradesh, who is still very similar today. Both are derived from the altkanaresischen writing, in which both were written Kannada Telugu as from the 13th century. The altkanaresische font in turn developed in the 10th century by the Kadamba script from. It is an handed down from the 5th century South Indian descendant of the Brahmi script, the oldest Indian script. In the altkanaresischen font smaller differences between the Kannada and Telugu font formed out from the 15th century, which were fixed in the 19th century by the introduction of printing by European missionaries. Most striking is the difference in the sign of ka ( ಕ in Kannada, Telugu క ). Typical of a South Indian Kannada font, the font is characterized by its round shapes.

Principle of operation

As with all Indian scriptures is in the Kannada script to an intermediate form of alphabet and syllabary, called Abugida. This means that the basic element of Scripture is a character consonant with the inherent vowel a (eg ಕ ka, ಮ ma). Follow the consonants another vowel, this one diacritic ( eg mā ಮಾ ಕಾ kā, ) is expressed using. This so-called secondary vowel signs is dependent and forms with the consonants a solid unit. Only word-initial vowels are represented by independent characters (eg: ಅ a, ā ಆ ). Consonant combinations are expressed by ligatures. Here, the second consonant occurs in the Kannada writing usually among the first (eg ಕ್ಕ kka ), some ligatures have special shapes (eg ರ್ತ rta from ರ and ತ ). At the end of a word is a consonant, the vowel is not followed, expressed by a Virama called diacritical mark (eg ಕ್ k). Like all Indian scriptures is also the Kannada script Clockwise, that is, it is written from left to right.


The sign inventory of the Kannada script has 34 consonants, 13 vowels and two additional characters. The combination of those three categories a much larger number can be created at connection strings.


The Kannada script has 34 consonants ( ವ್ಯಂಜನ vyajana ). The order of the characters is unlike, say, in the Latin alphabet is not arbitrary but reflects the phonology of Sanskrit resist. The list of consonants begins with the plosives and nasals according to their place of articulation ( velar, palatal, retroflex, dental, labial ) from back to front, ie from the soft palate to the lips, sorted. Here, in series, the plosives ( plosives ) come from unvoiced, unvoiced aspirated, voiced and before voiced - aspirated, followed by the homorganic ( spoken on the same place of articulation ) nasal (eg ka, kha, ga, gha, na). On the plosives the semi-vowels follow ( according to Sanskrit grammar are ya this, ra, la and va), the sibilants ( hissing sounds ) sa, sa, sa, the aspirate ha and finally as the last consonant of the Kannada own ( in Sanskrit not occurring ) retroflex consonant là.


The Kannada script knows 13 vowels ( ಸ್ವರ svara ): five short vowels, one consonant vowel, five long vowels and diphthongs two ). The vowels also includes the " consonantal vowel" r, which occurs in Sanskrit loan words in Kannada. It is spoken [ rɨ ] or [ ru]. In addition, there are signs for three more only in Sanskrit occurring consonantal vowels ೠ R, ಌ L and L ೡ. The independent vowels occur only in word-initial.

To express nachkonsonantische vowels, are used in the Kannada script diacritics, known as non-independent vowel signs. They form a unit with the consonants. An example of the consonant-vowel k compounds are shown with the consonants.

Additional sign

In addition, the Kannada script has two additional characters ( ಯೋಗವಾಹ yogavāha ) that express two sounds from Sanskrit: the Anusvara ಂ M and the visarga ಃ h.


For decimal numbers the Kannada script has its own character.