Thursday, 19 January 2012
Brahmi Grantha Script Family and Cross Graftings
There's a couple of possible error in this diagram.
It shows Thai and Burmese as being descended from Pali scripts and doesnt show Khmer Mon or Cham.
Te trouble with using the tree modle is tha tits great for showing divergence changes that are new branches but it doesnt show fusion, joinings and graftings.
The first Indian traders seemed to have used and introduced both Nagari and Brahmi derived scripts.
Some scholars tend to presume Nagari and Sanskrit were the priamry models for scribes but take a look at this next image.
This is Grantha script. Remind you of anything? The curly letters of Tamil and Thai and other scripts?
Just as Indian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism Mahayana and later Theravada influenced South East Asian culture so did more than one script influence and change the development of writing systems.
More recent research including rock inscriptions and other artifacts shows the branching pattern seems to be more like this
Brahmi Grantha than an early introduction into Champa of Sankrit followed by a separate develpoment of a Grantha derived local script for writing Cham in the second centuries A.D.
A similar event in the Khmer realms a bit later. AD 629.
Another separate early introduction of Brahmi / Grantha into the Mon realms that covered southern Thailnad and Burma.
Both Old Mon and Old Khmer scripts influenced the later Thai and Lao scripts.
More evidence in the next post!