Search
Topics
Related Scripts

Buginese
Quick Facts
TypeSyllabic Alphabetic
GenealogyBrahmi
LocationSoutheast Asia > Indonesia
Time17th century CE to Present
DirectionLeft to Right

The Buginese script is a syllabic alphabet used to write the Buginese language as spoke on the island of Sulawesi (or Celebes) in central Indonesia. It is likely to have derived from the ancient Kawi of Java, and ultimately from the ancient Brahmi script of India. It is also named lontara', which means "palm leaves", indicating the most common medium of Buginese writing. And by extension, lontara' also came to mean a form of literature recording Buginese histories and geneologies.

Each letter of the Buginese script carries a consonant and the inherent vowel of /a/. The only exception is the letter that represents only /a/, which is used only at the beginning of a word.

The Buginese script uses extra strokes or diacritics to modify the inherent vowel of the basic letters. These strokes also work to modify the single a letter into other vowels occurring at the beginning of a word.

The Buginese script is increasingly endangered as a living script, as the Buginese language is more commonly written in the Latin alphabet nowadays. The traditional lontara' script is relegated to ceremonial purposes and historical curiosity.

blog comments powered by Disqus