Tibetan Braille

Last updated

Tibetan Braille
Type
LanguagesTibetan
Creator Sabriye Tenberken
Time period
1992
Parent systems
Print basis
Tibetan alphabet

Tibetan Braille is the braille alphabet for writing the Tibetan language. It was invented in 1992 by German socialworker Sabriye Tenberken. [1] It is based on German braille, with some extensions from international usage. As in print, the vowel a is not written.

Contents

Despite Tibetan and Dzongkha (Bhutanese) using the same alphabet in print, Tibetan Braille differs significantly from Dzongkha Braille, which is closer to international norms.

Alphabet

Tibetan Braille follows print orthography. (See Tibetan script.) This is often a poor match for how words are pronounced. Each syllable is rendered in the following order:

pre-consonant, superscript consonant, head consonant, subscript consonant, vowel, post-consonant(s) [2]

The invariable consonants are: [3]

Consonantkakhagangacachajanya
Print
Braille Braille K.svg Braille C3.svg Braille G7.svg Braille Bracket.svg Braille O.svg Braille Y.svg Braille Q.svg Braille A.svg
Consonanttathadanapaphabama
Print
Braille Braille T.svg Braille U.svg Braille D4.svg Braille N.svg Braille P.svg Braille AND.svg Braille B2.svg Braille M.svg
Consonanttsatshadzazhaza'ashaha
Print
Braille Braille X.svg Braille Z.svg Braille E.svg Braille SH.svg Braille S.svg Braille E.svg Braille U.svg Braille H8.svg

Several consonants, wa, ya, ra, la, and sa, are provided with forms corresponding to the superscript and subscript positions in print: [4]

Consonantwayaralasa
Print
Brailleas base letter Braille W.svg Braille J0.svg Braille R.svg Braille L.svg Braille E.svg
as superscript Braille Currency.svg Braille QuoteOpen.svg
as subscript Braille Period.svg Braille QuoteClose.svg Braille ExclamationPoint.svg Braille V.svg

The assignments for zh and z also match international conventions, as those letters are pronounced like sh and s. Several of the assignments which do not match international braille have the values of German Braille: ch for c (ch), j for y[j], z[ts] for tsh, s[z] for z, sch[ʃ] for sh[ʃ], ß[s] for s. Letters which are not basic to the German alphabet (c, q, x, y) have been reassigned. Several of the aspirated consonants (ch, th, ph) are equivalent to the corresponding unaspirated consonant with an extra dot in the third row.

The short vowel "a" is inherent in the head (main) consonant, and is not written explicitly. When a vowel occurs at the beginning of a word, it is carried by a null consonant :

Vowelsaiueo
Print
(on )
ཨི ཨུ ཨེ ཨོ
Braille Braille A1.svg Braille A1.svg Braille I9.svg Braille A1.svg Braille U.svg Braille A1.svg Braille E5.svg Braille A1.svg Braille O.svg

Numbers and punctuation

Digits are as in English Braille. Basic punctuation: [3]

Print,;.
Braille Braille Comma.svg Braille Semicolon.svg Braille Semicolon.svg Braille Semicolon.svg

Related Research Articles

A diacritic – also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent – is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek διακριτικός, from διακρίνω. Diacritic is primarily an adjective, though sometimes used as a noun, whereas diacritical is only ever an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.

Mongolian writing systems

Many alphabets have been devised for the Mongolian language over the centuries, and from a variety of scripts. The oldest, called simply the Mongolian script, has been the predominant script during most of Mongolian history, and is still in active use today in the Inner Mongolia region of China and de facto use in Mongolia. It has in turn spawned several alphabets, either as attempts to fix its perceived shortcomings, or to allow the notation of other languages, such as Sanskrit and Tibetan. In the 20th century, Mongolia first switched to the Latin script, and then almost immediately replaced it with the Cyrillic script for compatibility with the Soviet Union, its political ally of the time. Mongol Chinese in Inner Mongolia and other parts of China, on the other hand, continue to use alphabets based on the traditional Mongolian script.

A caron, háček or haček also known as a hachek, wedge, check, inverted circumflex, inverted hat, flying bird, is a diacritic (ˇ) commonly placed over certain letters in the orthography of some Baltic, Slavic, Finnic, Samic, Berber, and other languages to indicate a change in the related letter's pronunciation.

Tibetan script abugida used to write the Tibetic languages and others

The Tibetan script is an abugida of Indic origin used to write the Tibetic languages such as Tibetan, as well as Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Ladakhi and sometimes Balti. It has also been used for some non-Tibetic languages in close cultural contact with Tibet, such as Thakali. The printed form is called uchen script while the hand-written cursive form used in everyday writing is called umê script.

Digraph (orthography) pair of characters used to write one phoneme

A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used in the orthography of a language to write either a single phoneme, or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined.

Japanese Braille braille script of the Japanese language

Japanese Braille is the braille script of the Japanese language. It is based on the original braille script, though the connection is tenuous. In Japanese it is known as tenji (点字), literally "dot characters". It transcribes Japanese more or less as it would be written in the hiragana or katakana syllabaries, without any provision for writing kanji.

In phonetics, secondary articulation occurs when the articulation of a consonant is equivalent to the combined articulations of two or three simpler consonants, at least one of which is an approximant. The secondary articulation of such co-articulated consonants is the approximant-like articulation. It "colors" the primary articulation rather than obscuring it. Maledo (2011) defines secondary articulation as the superimposition of lesser stricture upon a primary articulation.

Sabriye Tenberken German founder of Braille organization

Sabriye Tenberken is a German tibetologist and co-founder of the organisation Braille Without Borders.

Braille Without Borders (BWB) is an international organisation for the blind in developing countries. It was founded in Lhasa, Tibet by Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg in 1998.

Thai Braille (อักษรเบรลล์) and Lao Braille (ອັກສອນເບຣລລ໌) are the braille alphabets of the Thai language and Lao language. Thai Braille was adapted by Genevieve Caulfield, who knew both English and Japanese Braille. Unlike the print Thai alphabet, which is an abugida, Thai and Lao Braille have full letters rather than diacritics for vowels. However, traces of the abugida remain: Only the consonants are based on the international English and French standard, while the vowels are reassigned and the five vowels transcribed a e i o u are taken from Japanese Braille.

Somali Latin alphabet

The Somali Latin alphabet is an official writing script in the Federal Republic of Somalia and its constituent Federal Member States. It was developed by the Somali linguist Shire Jama Ahmed specifically for transcribing the Somali language, and is based on the Latin script. The Somali Latin alphabet uses all letters of the English Latin alphabet except p, v and z. There are no diacritics or other special characters, although it includes three consonant digraphs: DH, KH and SH. Tone is not marked and a word-initial glottal stop is also not shown. Capital letters are used for names and at the beginning of a sentence.

Bharati Braille Alphabet

Bharati braille, or Bharatiya Braille, is a largely unified braille script for writing the languages of India. When India gained independence, eleven braille scripts were in use, in different parts of the country and for different languages. By 1951 a single national standard had been settled on, Bharati braille, which has since been adopted by Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. There are slight differences in the orthographies for Nepali in India and Nepal, and for Tamil in India and Sri Lanka. There are significant differences in Bengali Braille between India and Bangladesh, with several letters differing. Pakistan has not adopted Bharati braille, so the Urdu Braille of Pakistan is an entirely different alphabet than the Urdu Braille of India, with their commonalities largely due to their common inheritance from English or International Braille. Sinhala Braille largely conforms to other Bharati, but differs significantly toward the end of the alphabet, and is covered in its own article.

The goal of braille uniformity is to unify the braille alphabets of the world as much as possible, so that literacy in one braille alphabet readily transfers to another. Unification was first achieved by a convention of the International Congress on Work for the Blind in 1878, where it was decided to replace the mutually incompatible national conventions of the time with the French values of the basic Latin alphabet, both for languages that use Latin-based alphabets and, through their Latin equivalents, for languages that use other scripts. However, the unification did not address letters beyond these 26, leaving French and German Braille partially incompatible, and as braille spread to new languages with new needs, national conventions again became disparate. A second round of unification was undertaken under the auspices of UNESCO in 1951, setting the foundation for international braille usage today.

Turkish Braille is the braille alphabet of the Turkish language.

Several braille alphabets are used in Nigeria. For English, Unified English Braille has been adopted. Three other languages have been written in braille: Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. All three alphabets are based on English readings, with the addition of letters particular to these languages. Punctuation is as in English Braille.

Punjabi Braille is the braille alphabet used in India for Punjabi. It is one of the Bharati braille alphabets, and largely conforms to the letter values of the other Bharati alphabets.

IPA Braille is the modern standard Braille encoding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as recognized by the International Council on English Braille.

Dzongkha Braille, or Bhutanese Braille, is the braille alphabet for writing Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. It is based on English braille, with some extensions from international usage. As in print, the vowel a is not written.

Burmese Braille

Burmese Braille is the braille alphabet of languages of Burma written in the Burmese script, including Burmese and Karen. Letters that may not seem at first glance to correspond to international norms are more recognizable when traditional romanization is considered. For example, သ s is rendered th, which is how it was romanized when Burmese Braille was developed ; similarly စ c and ဇ j as s and z.

Cambodian or Khmer Braille is the braille alphabet of the Khmer language of Cambodia.

References

  1. Kronenberg, Paul. "Tibetan Braille Script". Braille without Borders.Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. From email correspondence with Sabriye Tenberken: Single consonants are written without a "a". Only i e o and u are indicated. The order goes like this:
    first the pre consonant, this could be a b, m d ' etc. Then the main consonant. After the main consonant the vowel and then the post consonant. If the main consonant has a super or a sub script, an extra letter that indicates the super script or the subscript is put before and after the main consonant. However it has to be placed before the vowel.
    If you have a word with all letters possible, it looks as follows:
    1. Pre consonant
    2. superscript
    3. main consonant
    4. sub script
    5. vowel
    6. post consonant
    7. second post consonant
    For example: bsgrubs
  3. 1 2 World Braille Usage, UNESCO, 2013
  4. Tibetan Braille01.jpg(Email correspondence/image)|format= requires |url= (help), Braille without Borders