Monday, December 14, 2009

BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE

BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE
It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language.
So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.
Three scripts come to mind straight away – Tamil, English and Kannada.Tamil – because a majority of us know how to speak and write due to the simple fact that we belong to Tamil Nadu, English – since most of us choose to learn as well as put our children in English medium schools and Kannada – due to the fact that Badaga is more akin to Kannada than any other language [though I firmly beleive that Badaga is a separate language on its own merit and not a dialect of Kannada].
But when trying to choose a script for Badaga, Kannada script is ruled out for the basic reason that most of us do not know the language or familiar with the script and no scope to learn it in our schools in the Nilgiris. Hence the choice between Tamil and English. Badaga ,like many other Indian languages, has very definitive and distintive sounds/words [I do not know the exact English equivalent] that distinguishes one word from another. Even a small change in pronounciation could result in an entirely different meaning in Badaga. For example,a subtle change in context of the word ‘BAE [bay]‘ could mean mouth, bangle, lentil, crop etc. Bella [jaggery] or BeLLa [ a male name] are two entirely differnt things. So are ‘kallu – stone’ and ‘KaLLu – a drink’. So, what could or should be the choice?
In Tamil script we cannot differentiate ‘K’ from ‘G’ or ‘T’ from ‘D’. This makes a huge impact when Badaga words are written in Tamil script. ‘Gaasu – potato’ is totally differnt from ‘Kaasu – coin, remove’. Or ‘Ettu – eight’ and ‘Eddu – getup’. Another drawback could be the absence of ‘Ha’ in classical Tamil. On the other hand, in English, we cannot clearly bring out the difference of ‘na’ from ‘Na’ [anna - food, aNNa- elder brother] or ‘halli – lizard’ from ‘haLLi – name, village’. ‘Kalla – a male name’ sounds the same as ‘ kaLLa – a thief.
Yes, it is indeed a little tricky to choose between Tamil and English. But, taking into consideration the younger generation who are going to be the future hope and the irrefutable fact that they are all more familiar with English than Tamil, the choice is English. Keeping in mind the successful adoptation of English script for Malay language (Malaysia) I would plump in for English. With a few minor modifications to overcome the grey areas mentioned above, English script can be easily used in Badaga.
Remember Devanagiri (Hindi) is the script for Nepali. The ‘minor’ modifications that can be undertaken to overcome the drawbacks I referred above could be by using an extra ‘a’ – thus milk can be written as ‘haalu’; ‘dhadi – stick’ can be different from ‘dhaadi – beard’. So on and so forth. We may use ‘capital’ letters to differentiate between ‘bella and beLLa’ as I have done above.What if a complete sentence is in capital letters ? – We may use ‘bold’ letters or underline the words to give the emphasis. Innovative use of – ‘ – [apostrophe] can bring out the differnce between “soppu – green ” and “so’ppu – soap” or “kodi – flag” and “ko’di – crore”.
It is said that Indians [read Badagas] will reject 50% of anything without even hearing it, another 50% without understanding it; and if ‘anything’ is left behind they reject it just for the sake of rejecting it. Like what is happening in many hattis with ‘young gowdas’ ruling the roost.
BUT, ALL YOU TRUE BADAGAS – LET US START SOMEWHERE TO HAVE A SCRIPT FOR OUR LANGAUGE. IMPROVEMENTS AND INNOVATIONS CAN FALLOW. IF MICROSOFT CAN ACCEPT BADAGA AS AN UNIQUE LANGUAGE , THERE MUST BE SOMETHING . SARI THAANE ?
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Badaga in English Script



numbers.jpg

How the numbers are mentioned in various South Indian Languages is given below. This is from the :WWW -> NET : What I am trying to highlight is the use of English script !?

numbers.jpg
For numbers in more than 5000 languages go to zompist.com
Another Interesting Link -> Badaga language Totally Explained
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BELLE BENGUVE – GARLIC [in whatever language you say, is always good for health - though may not be for "LOVE"]
Notice : belle[white] is written as be!!e at the end
Sanskrit लशुन laśuna yields Hindi लहसन lahsan,
Urdu لہسن lahsan (but also سیر sīr from Persian), Nepali लसुन lasun, Marathi लसूण lasūṇ,
Bengali রসুন rasuna, Gujarati લસણ lasaṇa,
Oriya ରସୁଣ rasuṇa, Punjabi ਲਸਣ lasaṇ, Konkani लोसुण losuṇa.
Tamil has வெள்ளைப்பூண்டு veḷḷaippūṇṭu ‘white herb’, less commonly வெள்ளுள்ளி veḷuḷḷi,
like Malayalam വെളുത്തുള്ളി veḷuththuḷḷi and
Kannada ಬೆಳ್ಳುಳ್ಳಿ beḷḷuḷḷi ‘white onion’, and வெள்வெங்காயம veḷvengkāyam,
like Badaga beḷḷe benguve ‘white onion’.

Sanskrit लशुन laśuna yields Hindi लहसन lahsan, Urdu لہسن lahsan (but also سیر sīr from Persian), Nepali लसुन lasun, Marathi लसूण lasūṇ, Bengali রসুন rasuna, Gujarati લસણ lasaṇa, Oriya ରସୁଣ rasuṇa, Punjabi ਲਸਣ lasaṇ, Konkani लोसुण losuṇa. I wanted to include a choice quote from The Bower Manuscript (better description in this review of Hoernle’s publication) on the Origin (and folk etymology) of Garlic (quoted in English in The Book of Garlic from an article by von Strubing in Ernährungsforschung), but even the inexpensive Indian edition is a bit steep. So if I manage to track it down, it can be part of the next garlic post. Tamil has வெள்ளைப்பூண்டு veḷḷaippūṇṭu ‘white herb’, less commonly வெள்ளுள்ளி veḷuḷḷi, like Malayalam വെളുത്തുള്ളി veḷuththuḷḷi and Kannada ಬೆಳ್ಳುಳ್ಳಿ beḷḷuḷḷi ‘white onion’, and வெள்வெங்காயம veḷvengkāyam, like Badaga beḷḷe benguve (வெள்ளெவெஙுவெ?) ‘white onion’.
The above interesting piece is taken from ->
http://polyglotveg.blogspot.com/2007/03/garlic.html#rest
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As far as the English script used to show Badaga, I am giving below two examples of 1) the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory [for over half a century, has collected recordings of hundreds of languages from around the world, providing source materials for phonetic and phonological research] and 2) Prof.P Hockings ,From the UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive
(The unicode entry tool was developed by the Linguist List. To obtain it for use in other web pages click here)
Entry Badaga English

(Note on transcriptions: rhoticity (e.g. i˞, e˞, etc. ) indicates half-retroflexion; underdot (e.g. ị, ẹ, etc. indicates full retroflexion)
1 noː disease
2 pọː scar
3 tọː buffalo pen / cattle pen
4 mo˞e˞ sprout, shoot of plant
5 ho˞e˞ water course
6 ko˞e˞ carrion
7 ka˞e˞ weed
8 a˞e˞ tiger’s den
9 kọːga a type of measure
10 ạːe to measure
11 kaːsu coin
12 ha˞ːsu to spread out
13 kạːʃu to remove
14 beː mouth
15 be˞ː bangle
16 bẹː banana plant
17 i˞ːụ seven
18 to drag
19 hu: flower
20 hụ worm
21 hụːy tamarind
22 ụy chisel
23 huy to strike
24 kae unripe fruit
25 paːi mat
26 beː mouth
27 be˞ː (pharyngealized) bangle
28 bẹː (retroflexion) banana
29 kaːsu coin
30 háːsu (pharyngealized) spread out
31 kạːʃu (pharyngealized) take off clothes
32 aːe to measure
33 a˞e˞ tiger’s den
34 no˞ː sickness
35 poː scar
36 tọː buffalo pen
37 ko˞e˞ dead body
38 huː flower
39 hu˞ː worm
40 huy to strike
41 hu˞y tamarind
42 ụy chisel
Research on Badaga
I found this interesting article – research by Prof: Peter Ladefoged in the net. Is it not fascinating that so much research has been done on our language ?

Peter Ladefoged Languages index

Badaga is a Southern Dravidian Language (Tamil-Kannada branch) spoken by approximately 250,000 people in the Nilgiris hills in Southern India. There are several dialects, only the most conservative having the complete set of contrasts illustrated here.
>Badaga has five vowels /i e a o u/ , all of which can be contrastively half and fully retroflexed.
Half retroflexed vowels are indicated by the diacritic for rhotocity :[a~], fully retroflexed vowels with a subscript dot [a]


This is how Prof: P Hockings depicts the Badaga Words in English script
Some more thoughts on adopting English script for Badaga
Picking up from what Prof.Paul Hockings has mentioned – rather the unicode[?] used – in the example shown here from his book Counsel from the Ancients: Study of Badoga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses (page 54. Outline of Badaga Language – 2.1.2 Vowel Contrasts ) , I am suggesting a simple and straight forward work around.
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The words ‘to stand’ & ‘paddy’ are written as ‘nillu & nellu’ . No problems with that.
But ‘whistling’ & ‘to cook’ are written as ‘bi:su & be:su’ . My suggestion is use ‘beesu & baesu’ as they are pronounced.
(FootBall is FUTBAL and Photo is Foto in some languages that go by the pronounciation and thus making it easy).
‘To wander’ ’suttu’ is used. But to me ’suttu’ sounds more like ‘to burn’ . I would suggest ’suthu’ for wandering. [ 'SUTHUGAL or SUTHUKAL' sounds familiar, is it not?]. Same thing for ‘property’ ’sothu’ ‘ instead of ’sottu’ which sounds more like ’sottu’ ‘drop’ .
To blow ‘oodu’ – udu’ sounds and looks better than ‘u:du’ and ‘odhu’ instead of ‘o:du’ which to a novice like me is ‘run’ or ’tile’ ‘odu’ .
‘To shine’ – it could be ‘michu’ instead of ‘miccu and ‘muchu’ instead of ‘muccu’ for covering. ‘Muccu’ sounds or looks more like ‘mukku’ – to gobble or swallow .
‘hennu’ [ 'fruit' ] could be written as ‘heNNu’ [girl] and ‘hannu’ as ‘haNNu’ to bring out the emphasis on ‘N’.
‘nadu’ for ‘middle’ or plant is OK but for ‘country’ it could be ‘ naadu ‘ than ‘na:du’ .
Similarly, my suggestin : – for ‘now’ – ‘ ‘eega’ , ‘bamboo’ ‘oede’ , ‘village’ ‘ooru’
The main and only creteria should be the ease of use and understanding and yes, without the use of , what I would like to term as, ‘dots’ and ‘quotes’.
(I would like to repeat that I am no expert on languages and no intention is implied to hurt the purists and followers of UNICODE etc]
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The Badaga Script developed by Anandhan Raju
I had written some time back

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga.


Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.


To know more about the BADAGA SCRIPT or rather the need for one go here

Then recently Anandhan Raju sent the following comments :

"I am very pleased to announce that I have developed a writing system for Badugu, a language hitherto without a writing system, spoken by a member of one of the native peoples of the Nilgiris called Baduga. What is more, I have designed a true type font and named it BaduguAnandha using a computer program...."


When I offered to publish his 'Badugu Script' in our websites and requested him to send the details, Anandhan has accepted my offer and has sent all the details.


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A cursory glance is good enough to convince the enormous amount of hard work he has put in.
It gives me the greatest pleasure to present and share the same with you all.
Before that let me congratulate Anandha whole heartedly and assure him that our good wishes are with him.
Anandhan, from Thangadu Oranaai, is presently the Computer Science Teacher in Chamraj Higher Secondary School, Chamraj. He has done his Dipoloma in Mechanical Engineering and Honours Diploma in Computer Applications.
About Anandhan [as he says] :


My father was a schoolmaster and I received an excellent education in my childhood, attended a polytechnic, where I had my Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and worked as an Instructor in Mechanical Engineering. I wrote and published a book entitled “A Descriptive Grammar of English Words” in 1999. Prior to this, I wrote a piece of poetry called “The Breeze” in imitation of “The Brook” by Lord Tennyson, which was my contribution to the magazine of the school, where I had been working then. As to the grammar, I have added some more chapters, rewritten few, and revised several. The book is now given a new title “A Descriptive English Grammar“and is in print and will be published soon.

I also became interested in computers, did an Honours Diploma in Computer Applications, and at present, I am working as a Computer Science Teacher in a Higher Secondary School. I have written and published a book entitled “A User-Friendly Guide To Computer Science” in 2009, prepared in accordance with the syllabus prescribed by the Government of Tamilnadu for students of class XII. But I still teach English.

As a school child I grew up listening to my father's singing some of the classical English songs such as The Brook and Sweet and Low by Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Swing and The Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Swallow by Christina Rossetti and Little Raindrops by Caroline Hawkshawe and Frogs At School by George Cooper and Fairies By The Sea by Rose Fyleman and so forth.

My love for the English literature and my love for singing have inspired me to make an attempt at singing these songs with what little resource I have. They are songs without music. It is my wish to see that these same songs are sung by me with musical accompaniment. I hope these songs will indeed entertain the world one day. Please visit www.MusBook.com to listen to my singing.

I also possess some knowledge of linguistics, especially Dravidian linguistics. I have written an article on the Phonology of Badugu (A Dravidian Language)."

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Now, Over to Anandhan -[anandhanraju@gmail.com]

The Badugu Alphabet

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have developed an alphabet for Badugu, a language hitherto without a writing system, spoken by a member of one of the native peoples of the Nilgiris called Baduga. What is more, I have created a true type font and named it BaduguAnandha using a computer program.
Inspired by my father Sri.R.Raju son of late Sri B.Ranga Gowder of Thangadu Oranaai, I took to researching the Badugu language, my mother tongue. Studying the phonology of Badugu had indeed been a labour of love to me. Though a Baduga, I learned Badugu afresh in order to have a very good understanding of the system of sound patterns of the language, which later proved to be a groundbreaking piece of research. It would be ungrateful if I did not acknowledge Rev. Philip Mulley for his help during the research.

What I discovered was a notably unique feature of the Badugu vowel system. It is the presence of Retracted Vowel sounds. I call them so, because when articulating these vowels, the tongue retracts automatically. It is my contention that the Retracted Vowel sounds antedate the Retroflex sounds. It can clearly be seen that a presumptive pattern of sound change had occurred over the years. The Retracted Vowel sounds found the Retroflex sounds as their complementary sounds i.e. retraction of the tongue by natural process complemented with flexion of the tongue resulted in retroflexion of the tongue. It is evident that when you articulate a vowel sound that immediately precedes a retroflex sound the tongue retracts giving way to flexion naturally. From the foregoing, it is quite possible to say that Badugu is one of the Proto-South-Dravidian dialects that has undergone separate linguistic development despite the fact that it resembles Kannada in certain correspondences jointly in sound and in meaning. It is to be noted that Badugu shares such systems not only with Kannada but also with other Dravidian languages too.

Badugu is a separate language having a typical phonological structure. The autonomous status of Badugu has been hinted at in “Language and Society in South Asia by Michael C.Shapiro and Harold F.Schiffman, 1981:100”. A separate language suggests a separate alphabet specially developed for it. Some people might quickly call this idea into question. They might ask Why a new alphabet for Badugu? Aren’t there writing systems already in existence which can readily be adopted or adapted to represent the speech sounds of Badugu? And so forth.

These questions seem reasonable. But then again without entering into details, we shall deal with the broader aspects of these questions. Suppose we adopted the Tamil alphabet for representing the speech sounds of Badugu. We know that the letters representing the consonantal speech sounds of Tamil number at 18. But the consonantal speech sounds of Badugu are reckoned at 24 which require 24 distinct letters to represent them. If the Tamil alphabet is adopted, it could only incompletely represent the speech sounds of Badugu. Therefore it turns out to be a deficient alphabet. Again, suppose we adopted the Kannada alphabet. The letters representing the consonantal speech sounds of Kannada number at 34 compared to 24 of Badugu. Therefore the Kannada alphabet is redundant. We can easily conclude that the question of adoption seems unreasonable. Moreover, modification will not always bring about certain desired results. Most likely, in the middle of the process of modification, the letters would defy further doing and develop awkward shapes. Therefore the question of adaption also seems unreasonable.

It is my conviction that Badugu must have a separate writing system because it is a separate language. I hope every Baduga would proudly welcome the development of the Badugu Alphabet and the creation of a Badugu Font and use them to read and write Badugu henceforth to keep the Badugu language alive.
Last but not least, I have also written a manual entitled "Keying In The Badugu Alphabet" for those who wish to learn how to key in the Badugu letters using the font BaduguAnandha.ttf.

An Inventory of the Badugu Alphabet

1. Vowels and Diphthongs 13
2. Syllabic Consonants 21
3. Non-Syllabic Consonants 3
4. Syllables 273
Total 310
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Install the font BaduguAnandha.ttf developed by Anandha before you open the documents


[A lot more info is being added along with the other documents including the manual "Keying in Badugu Alphabet - Badugu Baray" Anandhan has sent me...come back soon]


Santhosh sent these comments : A BIG CONGRATULATIONS for your insofar achievements in developing scripts for Badaga.

I feel really excited and FANTASTIC typing in Badugu.Went through the manual , nice work. Very easy to understand and I have started typing my name easily now :) and many more words. In future I hope websites may support this FONT. 273 + 3 Consonants and 13 vowels means?

Like to know the history behind this , do you write any blogs? , Please let us know. Thanks AGAIN for giving us such a wonderful BaduguAnandha font and making everyone anandha. Single Dream for everyone..!!! To see the manual go here

Santhosh in English (8 letters) ; cHz]ds in Badugu (6 letters). Wow, isn't it awesome , great Mr.Anandan.

When these comments were sent to Anandha, he responded :

Dear Wg Cdr JP,What can I say but thanks. I am delighted to hear that Mr.Santhosh had a go at typing his name in Badugu. I hope this would give zest to others to try as well. With kind regards,- R.Anandha(n)

Badaga Villages - Photo© by Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash

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