- Number of characters: 128
- type: abugida
- Languages: dravidian
- Countries: India, Goa
Malayalam is a Unicode block containing characters for the Malayalam language. In its original incarnation, the code points U+0D02..U+0D4D were a direct copy of the Malayalam characters A2-ED from the 1988 ISCII standard. The Devanagari, Bengali, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada blocks were similarly all based on their ISCII encodings.
The Malayalam script (Malayāḷalipi; IPA: ), also known as Kairali script, is a Brahmic script used commonly to write the Malayalam language—which is the principal language of the Indian state of Kerala, spoken by 35 million people in the world. Like many other Indic scripts, it is an alphasyllabary (abugida), a writing system that is partially “alphabetic” and partially syllable-based. The modern Malayalam alphabet has 15 vowel letters, 41 consonant letters, and a few other symbols. The Malayalam script is a Vattezhuttu script, which had been extended with Grantha script symbols to represent Indo-Aryan loanwords. The script is also used to write several minority languages such as Paniya, Betta Kurumba, and Ravula. The Malayalam language itself was historically written in several different scripts.
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