Why Dont the Konkani People Develop a Script for Konkani


Why Dont the Konkani People Develop a Script for Konkani: Konkani is written using various scripts, such as Kannada, Malayalam, Devnagari, Roman, and Persian/Arabic. Some argue that introducing an additional script could lead to confusion and further complications.

In the early stages of its development, Konkani was documented using various scripts, including Brahmi, old Nagari, and the Kadamba script. It eventually adopted the Goykanadi script, also known as the Kandavi script, which emerged from the Kadamba script lineage. This evolution took place under the influence of the Kadambas of Goa.


Konkani Language and Script Development


The period under the rule of the Kadambas of Goa and the Vijayanagara Empire is often regarded as the golden age of the Konkani language. Despite Kannada being the official court language, Konkani literature flourished and received encouragement. The majority of people in Gomantak spoke Konkani during this time.

However, the Goan Inquisition resulted in the prohibition of the Konkani language for several decades, and much of its literature was destroyed by the Portuguese authorities.

The widespread destruction of Konkani literature and the dispersal of Konkanis along the west coast of India contributed to the demise of the Goykanadi script by the 17th century.

Subsequently, Konkanis have utilized various scripts such as Devanagari, Kannada, Roman, Malayalam, Perso-Arabic, and Modi to transcribe the Konkani language.

Regarding the question of why Konkanis haven’t developed their own script, I personally believe it would be a regressive move. Managing five scripts already poses challenges, and introducing another script would only compound the issue. Not every language necessitates a distinct script; for instance, the Devanagari script is shared by multiple languages.


Why Dont the Konkani People Develop a Script for Konkani
Why Dont the Konkani People Develop a Script for Konkani


Trends in Script Usage and Promotion in Konkani


Instead of introducing a new script that remains unused, it’s more practical to focus on promoting the adoption of existing scripts. We’ve seen some success in this approach, as demonstrated by the decline of the Modi script in the 1950s. Similarly, the use of the Malayalam script is diminishing, while the Perso-Arabic script is utilized by a minority of Muslim Konkanis.

The Roman script, once widely employed, has also experienced a decrease in usage compared to previous years. Devanagari and Kannada scripts hold significant importance in Konkani, supported politically. Only time will reveal whether all Konkanis will eventually converge on using a single script.


The Konkani Language Script


The Konkani and Hindi alphabets share similarities as they both belong to the Indo-Aryan language family and are written in the Devanagari script. While many alphabets may appear similar and fulfill similar functions, they are not identical. Some alphabets possess unique characteristics that distinguish them from others.

The Hindi alphabet comprises 44 letters, while Konkani has 52. In Hindi, there are 33 consonants and 11 vowels, whereas Konkani features 36 consonants and 16 vowels. Despite these variations, both languages adhere to a Sanskrit structure, akin to Hindi.


Variety of Scripts in Konkani Writing


Konkani was historically written in the Brahmi script and later in the Goykanadi or Kandavi script, which is no longer in use. Presently, Devanagari script is employed from the Daman Ganga river in Gujarat to Bhatkal in Karnataka.

Previously, Malayalam script was utilized in Kochi, Kerala, but it has since transitioned to Devanagari. Kannada script is predominant in Tulunad or Undivided South Kanara. Additionally, Roman and Persian scripts are used by Christians and Muslims, respectively, with a gradual shift towards Devanagari.

Except for undivided South Kanara (Mangalore, Udupi, & Kasargod), all other Konkanis utilize Devanagari.

It’s worth noting that the Devanagari script of Konkani is not only the official but also the recognized script of India.


Why Dont the Konkani People Develop a Script for Konkani – Conclusion:


The way Konkani language is written has changed a lot over time. It used to be written in old ways like Brahmi and Goykanadi scripts. But now, most people use the Devanagari script. Some areas used to use different scripts like Malayalam and Kannada, but they’ve switched to Devanagari too. Some groups like Christians and Muslims use Roman and Persian scripts, but they’re also moving towards Devanagari. Except for a few places, most Konkani speakers now use Devanagari. It’s important because the government recognizes it as the official script for Konkani in India.


Why Dont the Konkani People Develop a Script for Konkani – Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What script did Konkani use in the past?

A: Konkani used scripts like Brahmi and Goykanadi in the past.

Q: Why do most Konkani speakers use the Devanagari script now?

A: Most Konkani speakers use the Devanagari script because it’s widely accepted and recognized, and it’s the official script for Konkani in India.

Q: Which other scripts were used for writing Konkani besides Devanagari?

A: Besides Devanagari, Malayalam and Kannada scripts were used in some regions for writing Konkani.

Q: Who uses Roman and Persian scripts for writing Konkani?

A: Christians and Muslims use Roman and Persian scripts, respectively, for writing Konkani.

Q: Why is it important for Konkani to have an official script recognized by the government?

A: It’s important for Konkani to have an official script recognized by the government because it ensures uniformity and standardization in writing, making it easier for communication and official documentation.


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