Akkhara Muni is an experimental script for Pali, the ecclesiastical language of Buddhism, devised by Ian James. Pali is normally written in the Sinhala, Khmer, Burmese, Devanagari, Lao or Thai scripts, or with the Latin alphabet using diacritics. This script uses a highly modified modern Latin font, with shapes based on those of ancient Brahmi and Pallava, which were the ancestors of the Indic scripts just mentioned. It aims at a unified, linear effect, without complicated vowel placement or diacritics. The name means "Letters of the Sage".
Most letters are easily recognizable from their counterparts in other Indic scripts. As with almost all Indic scripts, consonants have an inherent short /a/ if no vowel letter is written. A ‘no vowels’ mark may be used to cancel this effect, as is required with clusters and finals (there is a mark for each case). Vowels follow their consonants in all cases, in a linear, single-channel manner; this is unlike most Indic scripts, whose vowels end up all over the place.
It may be noted the aspirated and un-aspirated retroflex laterals are not encoded; they are considered to be merely allophones of the retroflex plosives when between vowels.
It is probably because our familiar Latin fonts are ultimately derived from Greek forms, and especially the capitals, that a suggestion of Greek monumental printing inevitably emerges here. Because of this, there is a slight Gandharan flavour to the script. (Gandhara was a region northwest of India, where an early Buddhism met Greek aesthetics.)
"Mind precedes all mental states; mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought.
If a person speaks or acts with an impure mind,
Suffering follows him like the wheel follows the foot of the ox."
[text from the Dhammapada]
Contact regarding the author's various script systems can be made via email: ianrjames at hotmail dot com.
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