- Number of characters: 128
- type: abugida
- Languages: bengali
- Countries: India, Bangladesh, Butane
Bengali is a Unicode block containing characters for the Bengali, Assamese, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Daphla, Garo, Hallam, Khasi, Mizo, Munda, Naga, Rian, and Santali languages. In its original incarnation, the code points U+0981..U+09CD were a direct copy of the Bengali characters A1-ED from the 1988 ISCII standard, as well as several Assamese ISCII characters in the U+09F0 column. The Devanagari, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam blocks were similarly all based on ISCII encodings.
The Bengali alphabet or Bangla alphabet is the writing system for the Bengali language and is the 6th most widely used writing system in the world. The script is shared by Assamese with minor variations, and is the basis for the other writing systems like Meithei and Bishnupriya Manipuri. Historically, the script has also been used to write the Sanskrit language in the region of Bengal. From a classificatory point of view, the Bengali script is an abugida, i.e. its vowel graphemes are mainly realized not as independent letters, but as diacritics attached to its consonant letters. It is written from left to right and lacks distinct letter cases. It is recognizable, as other Brahmic scripts, by a distinctive horizontal line running along the tops of the letters that links them together which is known as matra. The Bengali script is however less blocky and presents a more sinuous shape.
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