Kashmiri [deva]

Updated 21 December, 2020

This page gathers basic information about the Devanagari script and its use for the Kashmiri language. It aims (generally) to provide an overview of the orthography and typographic features, and (specifically) to advise how to write Kashmiri using Unicode.

Phonetic transcriptions on this page should be treated as an approximate guide, only. Many are more phonemic than phonetic, and there may be variations depending on the source of the transcription.

More about using this page
Related pages.
Other script summaries.

Sample (Kashmiri)

Select part of this sample text to show a list of characters, with links to more details.rt,84
Change size:   28px

सिरीनगर छु अख सॏंदर शहर। यि छु जॆहलम दऺरियावॖक्यन दॖन बठ्यन प्यठ बऺसिथ। शहरा मंज़ छि ज़ॖ बाल, शेंकराचार तॖ हारि परबथ। निशात बाग, सालॖमऺर बाग, चॆशमॖ सऻही, पऺरी महल तॖ हऻरवन सरबंद छि सऻरिय सिरीनगर शहरस मंज़। अमर नाथ तॖ तुलमुल छि हॆंद्यन हॖंद्य जॖ पवित्र तीर्थस्थान। हज़रतबल तॖ खानकाह छि मॖसलमानन हॖमंजॖ मुक्कदस ज़ियारचॖ। कल्हन पँडिथ ओस कऺशीरि हुंद अख बॊड बारॖ तऻरीखदान तॖ लल द्यद तॖ नुंदॖ र्‌यॊश ॴस्य् जॖ थदि पायिक्य् सूफी शऻयिर। कऻशिर्‌यन हॖंज़ ज़बान छि कऻशुर।

Usage & history

Kashmiri is written in the devanagari script by Hindus. Muslims use the arabic script. Due to population migrations, the use of the Devanagari script to write Kashmiri has significantly dwindled, although there are efforts to revive its use, and a number of recent reforms attempted to standardise the orthography.

कऻशुर kəːʃur Kashmiri

In 1995, 2002, and 2009 the orthographic reforms centred around the representation of vowel sounds. The result is that texts on the internet can be found using various different approaches, and the largest number of pages found were written just after the introduction of the 2002 reform, and so use slightly different vowel graphemes. This page presents the orthography based on the 2009 revision. For more information see previousOrthographies.

For information about the script in general, see the Devanagari overview.u

Basic features

Devanagari is an abugida. Consonant letters have an inherent vowel sound. Combining vowel-signs are attached to the consonant to indicate that a different vowel follows the consonant. See the table in the right-hand column for a brief overview of features for the modern Kashmiri orthography using the Devanagari script.

Kashmiri uses fewer consonants than Hindi, but has more vowels. The orthography includes some Kashmiri-specific characters.

Devanagari text runs left-to-right in horizontal lines.

Orthographic syllables (as opposed to phonetic syllables) play a significant role in Devanagari text. An orthographic syllable starts at the beginning of any cluster of consonants and incorporates the whole cluster plus any following vowels and diacritics.

Phonetically, Kashmiri has only three forms of plosives, illustrated here with the bilabial stop: unvoiced p, voiced b, aspirated . The murmured is not used, although these letters may crop up in Sanskrit or Hindi loan words. It also has a set of retroflex consonants. Kashmiri also commonly palatalises consonants.

The 25 basic consonant letters are supplemented by repertoire extensions for 3 more sounds by applying the nukta diacritic to characters.

Consonant clusters are normally indicated using the virama between consonants, though often there is no marker for unpronounced inherent vowels. It is also common to see a visible virama, especially for palatalisation. Conjunct forms are otherwise expressed using the common Devanagari half-forms, stacked consonants, and ligated glyphs.

As part of a cluster, RA has special forms, but a palatalised RA at the beginning of a word needs special treatment to avoid a repa formation.

Syllable-final consonant nasal sounds are most commonly represented by a dedicated combining mark (anusvara).Kashmiri normally uses only one letter for m and one for n, although other nasals may occur in words borrowed from Sanskrit.

The Hindi orthography has an inherent vowel, and represents vowels using 16 vowel-signs, including 1 prescript and no circumgraphs. All vowel-signs are combining marks, and are stored after the base character.

There are 17 independent vowels, one for each vowel sound, including the inherent vowel, and these are used to write all standalone vowel sounds. One vocalic letter is also used.

There are no composite vowels.

Vowels may be nasalised, using the candrabindu diacritic.

In character lists, show:

Character index

This section lists non-ASCII characters used for Kashmiri, and other characters in the Devanagari script block not used by Kashmiri. For descriptions of usage, click on ↓.

Letters

Basic consonants

प␣फ␣ब␣त␣थ␣द␣ट␣ठ␣ड␣क␣ख␣ग␣च␣छ␣ज␣व␣स␣श␣ह␣म␣न␣र␣ल␣य

Sanskrit/Hindi consonants

ण␣ञ␣ङ␣भ␣ध␣ढ␣झ␣घ␣ष

Vowels

इ␣ई␣ॶ␣ॷ␣उ␣ऊ␣ऎ␣ए␣ॳ␣ॴ␣ऒ␣ओ␣ॵ␣अ␣आ␣ऐ␣औ

Vocalic

Not used for modern Kashmiri

ॲ␣ऑ

Combining marks

Vowels

ि␣ी␣ॖ␣ॗ␣ु␣ू␣ॆ␣े␣ऺ␣ऻ␣ॊ␣ो␣ॏ␣ा␣ै␣ौ

Vocalic

Finals

Other

़␣्␣ँ

Numbers

०␣१␣२␣३␣४␣५␣६␣७␣८␣९

Punctuation

Structure

See the Devanagari overview.u

Vowels

Vowel sounds

Click on the sounds to reveal locations in this document where they are mentioned.

Plain vowels

i iː i iː ɨ ɨː ɨ ɨː u uː u uː e eː e eː o oː o oː ə əː ə əː ɔ ɔ a aː a aː

Diphthongs

əĭ əŭ əĭ əŭ

Inherent vowel

The Kashmiri inherent vowel is usually transcribed and pronounced a. So [U+0915 DEVANAGARI LETTER KA] is pronounced ka.

Vowel-signs

Non-inherent vowel sounds that follow a consonant are represented using vowel-signs, eg. की [U+0915 DEVANAGARI LETTER KA + U+0940 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN II] is pronounced kiː. Kashmiri uses the following vowel-signs.

ि␣ी␣ॖ␣ॗ␣ु␣ू␣ॆ␣े␣ऺ␣ऻ␣ॊ␣ो␣ॏ␣ा␣ै␣ौ

Kashmiri vowel-signs are all combining characters. All vowel-signs are stored after the base consonant, and the font puts them in the correct place for display. There are no circumgraphs.

Eight vowel-signs are spacing marks, meaning that they consume horizontal space when added to a base consonant.

Prescript vowel-sign

One vowel-sign appears to the left of the base consonant letter or cluster, eg. कि ki

ि

This is a combining mark that is always stored after the base consonant. The font places the glyph before the base consonant.

It is actually placed before the start of the syllable. This means that a word with a consonant cluster at the start separates the prescript vowel from any postscript vowels by more than one consonant character.

Nasalisation

[U+0901 DEVANAGARI SIGN CANDRABINDU] nasalises the vowel in a syllable, eg. मुँह

Vowel-sign placement

The following list shows where vowel-signs are positioned around a base consonant to produce vowels, and how many instances of that pattern there are.

Vowel absence

Kashmiri uses [U+094D DEVANAGARI SIGN VIRAMA] to kill the inherent vowel after a consonant.

In conjuncts, the virama is usually not seen, but it is often seen in Kashmiri words that end with palatalisation (see palatalisation).

Kashmiri commonly suppresses the inherent vowel without a conjunct or visible virama appearing in the orthography, eg. अतलास रफतार

Standalone vowels

Kashmiri represents standalone vowels using a set of independent vowel letters. The set contains a character to represent the inherent vowel sound.

इ␣ई␣ॶ␣ॷ␣उ␣ऊ␣ऎ␣ए␣ॳ␣ॴ␣ऒ␣ओ␣ॵ␣अ␣आ␣ऐ␣औ

Previous orthographies

Prior to 1995 there was no standard way to write Kashmiri, and people spelled words in different ways.rt,7 There was an orthographic standardisation reform in 1995, followed by another in 2002, and a further revision in 2009.

Prior to the orthographic reform in 2002, the phonemes ɨ and ɨː were respectively written ॅु [U+0945 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN CANDRA E + U+0941 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN U] and ॅू [U+0945 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN CANDRA E + U+0942 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UU].ep The 2002 reform replaced those with [U+0956 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UE] and [U+0957 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UUE], and a pair of equivalent independent vowels.mkr

It also brought in a number of other characters shown in fig_orthographic_changes.

phoneme 199520022009Current usage
ɨ ॅु   [U+0956 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UE]
[U+0976 DEVANAGARI LETTER UE]
ɨː ॅू   [U+0957 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UUE]
[U+0977 DEVANAGARI LETTER UUE]
ə [U+093A DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN OE]
[U+0973 DEVANAGARI LETTER OE]
əː   [U+093B DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN OOE]
[U+0973 DEVANAGARI LETTER OE]
e े'   [U+0946 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN SHORT E]
[U+090E DEVANAGARI LETTER SHORT E]
o ो'   [U+094B DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN O]
[U+0913 DEVANAGARI LETTER O]
ɔ   [U+094F DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AW]
[U+0975 DEVANAGARI LETTER AW]
Glyphs changed during the 2002 and 2009 reforms, showing vowel-signs.

Another revision occurred in 2009, resulting in the set of characters used in this page.l Principle changes included the substitution of and for and , respectively.

The reform also introduced a new character () and its equivalent vowel-sign () to replace the use of -्व for the vowel ɔ. For example, the following show the spelling changes for the word sɔkʰmoth.

Old: *स्वखNew: सॏख

The new characters were added in Unicode v6. In the gap, there was some experimentation with Gurmukhi characters for the phonemes ɨ and ɨː.

Encoding choices

This section looks at alternative strategies for typing and storing vowel-signs and independent vowels used by Kashmiri, taking into consideration the effects of normalising the text using Unicode Normalisation Form D (NFD), and Normalisation Form C (NFC).

Vowel-signs

The single code points on the left should be used, and not the sequences on the right, because they are not made the same by normalisation. Therefore the content will be regarded as different, which will affect searching and other operations on the text.

Use Do not use
[U+094B DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN O] + [U+093E DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AA + U+0947 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN E]
[U+094C DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AU] + [U+093E DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AA + U+0948 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AI]
[U+094A DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN SHORT O] + [U+093E DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AA + U+0946 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN SHORT E]
[U+093B DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN OOE] + [U+093E DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AA + U+093A DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN OE]

Independent vowels

Again, the single code points on the left should be used, and not the sequences on the right, because they are not made the same by normalisation.

Use Do not use
[U+0906 DEVANAGARI LETTER AA] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+093E DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AA]
[U+0973 DEVANAGARI LETTER OE] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+093A DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN OE] 
[U+0974 DEVANAGARI LETTER OOE] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+093B DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN OOE]
[U+0913 DEVANAGARI LETTER O] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+094B DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN O]
[U+0914 DEVANAGARI LETTER AU] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+094C DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN AU]
[U+0912 DEVANAGARI LETTER SHORT O] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+094A DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN SHORT O]
[U+0976 DEVANAGARI LETTER UE] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+0956 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UE]
[U+0977 DEVANAGARI LETTER UUE] + [U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A + U+0957 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UUE]
[U+0910 DEVANAGARI LETTER AI] + [U+090F DEVANAGARI LETTER E + U+0947 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN E]
[U+090E DEVANAGARI LETTER SHORT E] + [U+090F DEVANAGARI LETTER E + U+0946 DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN SHORT E]

Vocalics

ऋ␣ृ

Observation: Raina & Trakru describe the use of a single vocalic. It appears to be used for Sanskrit-derived words, and 2 of the four example words given also include the letter [U+0937 DEVANAGARI LETTER SSA], which is not usually used for Kashmiri.

One of the examples also uses a vowel-sign to modify the inherent sound of the standalone vocalic, which is somewhat unusual. The example is ऋॆष्य्.

Consonants

Consonant sounds

Click on the sounds to reveal locations in this document where they are mentioned.

labial dental alveolar post-
alveolar
retroflex palatal velar glottal
stop p b
t d
    ʈ ɖ
ʈʰ
  k ɡ
 
affricate   t͡s
t͡sʰ
  t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
t͡ʃʰ
       
fricative     s z ʃ       h
nasal m   n        
approximant w   l     j  
trill/flap     r    

Kashmiri has no voiced aspirated sounds.

Basic consonants

Basic set of consonants used for Kashmiri.

Stops

प␣फ␣ब␣त␣थ␣द␣ट␣ठ␣ड␣क␣ख␣ग

Affricates

च़␣छ़␣च␣छ␣ज

Fricatives

व␣स␣ज़␣श␣ह

Nasals

म␣न

Liquids

र␣ल␣य

Nuktas

Three items in the lists above are combinations of [U+093C DEVANAGARI SIGN NUKTA] and another character.

च़␣छ़␣ज़

Only one of those combinations exists in precomposed form. The other two have to be typed and stored as two characters.

NFC does not recombine the decomposed version of this character into a precomposed character. Instead, normalisation produces decomposed forms when using both NFC and NFD. So both approaches are canonically equivalent, but the decomposed form is recommended by the Unicode Standard.

Palatalisation

Palatalisation is a frequent feature of Kashmiri words. It is represented using [U+092F DEVANAGARI LETTER YA] as the final element of a cluster.

Inside a word the YA forms a conjunct or a cluster with the preceding consonant, eg. त्यम्बॖर

At the end of a word, the YA is followed by a visible virama, eg. थऺन्य्

Use preceding the inherent vowel is typically transcribed using ê, eg. têmbar. At the end of a word, it is often transcribed using a superscript i, eg. tånⁱ

Some care needs to be taken when the palatalisation follows r at the beginning of a word, so as to prevent the sequence forming a repha, ie. र्य [U+0930 DEVANAGARI LETTER RA + U+094D DEVANAGARI SIGN VIRAMA + U+092F DEVANAGARI LETTER YA]. The required rendering can be achieved using र्‌य [U+0930 DEVANAGARI LETTER RA + U+094D DEVANAGARI SIGN VIRAMA + U+200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER + U+092F DEVANAGARI LETTER YA], eg. र्‌यथ Word-internal use of the repha with palatalisation can, however, be seen, eg. पऻर्यज़ान

Since they are palatal sounds, the YA is not needed after the following consonants.

च␣ज␣छ␣श

Sanskrit letters

Words directly borrowed from Sanskrit and Hindi may use additional characters that are not normally used in Kashmiri.mkr

Nasals

ण␣ञ␣ङ

Kashmiri normally uses only 2 of the 5 standard nasal letters in Sanskrit. The missing letters shown just above are normally rendered in Kashmiri using [U+0902 DEVANAGARI SIGN ANUSVARA],mkr eg. compare*ब्रह्मण्ड b͓rh͓mɳ͓ɖब्रह्मांड

They may, however, be found occasionally in conjuncts,rt,9 eg. ang in the Kashmiri orthography is written अंगbut may be written अङ्ग

On the other hand, they normally never appear outside of a conjunct, ie. ganapatʰ is more properly written in Kashmiri asगनपथ gnptʰ rather than the Sanskrit गणपथ gɳptʰThat said, some writers will nonetheless use the Sanskrit forms.rt,9

Voiced aspirated plosives

भ␣ध␣ढ␣झ␣घ

The voiced aspirated plosive letters of Devanagari shown just above may be used to write Sanskrit words, or those words may be written without, eg. dharma may be written धर्म using Sanskrit letters, or दर्म in the Kashmiri style.rt,9

Others

ष␣क्ष␣ज्ञ

The letter and the two special conjuncts listed just above are also not used in Kashmiri, although they may pop up sometimes in words borrowed directly from Sanskrit.

syllable-Final consonants

[U+0902 DEVANAGARI SIGN ANUSVARA] represents a nasal that is homorganic with a following consonant. It is positioned over the previous consonant or vowel-sign,mkr eg. पॖंच़ॗहज़ॊंग

See also the candrabindu diacritic, which nasalises a vowel.

The visarga is not used in Kashmiri.rt,8

Consonant clusters

See the Devanagari overview.

Numbers, dates, currency, etc

Observation: Clarification needed on whether or not Kashmiri uses indic digits, and the rupee sign. Sources used so far keep to ASCII digits, but the Devanagari block has a set of digits that are used in Hindi.

Text direction

Kashmiri in the Devanagari script runs left to right in horizontal lines.

Glyph shaping & positioning

This section brings together information about the following topics: writing styles; cursive text; context-based shaping; context-based positioning; baselines, line height, etc.; font styles; case & other character transforms.

You can experiment with examples using the Kashmiri character app.

Kashmiri text written with the devanagari script is not cursive (ie. joined up like Arabic), however there is a significant amount of interaction between glyphs, and some joining, around consonant clusters.

The orthography has no case distinction, and no special transforms are needed to convert between characters.

See the Devanagari overview.

Font styles

tbd

Structural boundaries & markers

Grapheme boundaries

tbd

Word boundaries

Word boundaries are indicated by spaces.

Kashmiri sometimes uses a hyphen to separate parts of a compound noun, eg. ॶंह-रारय

Phrase & section boundaries

rt
phrase

, [U+002C COMMA]

; [U+003B SEMICOLON]

: [U+003A COLON]

sentence

[U+0964 DEVANAGARI DANDA]

? [U+003F QUESTION MARK]

! [U+0021 EXCLAMATION MARK]

paragraph [U+0965 DEVANAGARI DOUBLE DANDA]

Parentheses & brackets

  start end
standard

( [U+0028 LEFT PARENTHESIS]

) [U+0029 RIGHT PARENTHESIS]

Quotations

tbd

Emphasis

tbd

Abbreviation, ellipsis & repetition

tbd

Inline notes & annotations

tbd

Other inline ranges

tbd

Other punctuation

tbd

Line & paragraph layout

Line breaking & hyphenation

tbd

Character properties

Characters used for the Kashmiri language have the following default assignments related to line-break properties, according to the Unicode Standard. Some tailoring may be needed for Kashmiri language text.

AL51प फ ब त थ द ट ठ ड क ख ग च छ ज व स श ह म न र ल य इ ई ॶ ॷ उ ऊ ऎ ए ॳ ॴ ऒ ओ ॵ अ आ ऐ औ ऋ ण ञ ङ भ ध ढ झ घ ष
BA1
CM21ि ी ॖ ॗ ु ू ॆ े ऺ ऻ ॊ ो ॏ ा ै ौ ं ़ ् ँ ृ
NU10० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९
Show legend ul,#Properties

AL (ordinary alphabetic and symbol characters) requires other characters to provide break opportunities; otherwise, unless tailored rules are applied, no line breaks are allowed between pairs of them.

BA (break after) indicates that it is normal to break after that character. 

CM (combining mark) takes on the behaviour of its base character.

NU (number) behaves like ordinary characters (AL) in the context of most characters but activate the prefix and postfix behavior of prefix and postfix characters.

Text alignment & justification

tbd

Letter spacing

tbd

Counters, lists, etc.

tbd

Styling initials

tbd

Page & book layout

This section is for any features that are specific to Kashmiri written in the devanagari script and that relate to the following topics: general page layout & progression; grids & tables; notes, footnotes, etc; forms & user interaction; page numbering, running headers, etc.

Character lists

The Kashmiri orthography described here uses characters from the following Unicode blocks.

Devanagari 74ँ​ं​अ​आ​इ​ई​उ​ऊ​ऋ​ऎ​ए​ऐ​ऒ​ओ​औ​क​ख​ग​च​छ​ज​ट​ठ​ड​त​थ​द​न​प​फ​ब​म​य​र​ल​व​श​स​ह​ऺ​ऻ​़​ा​ि​ी​ु​ू​ृ​ॆ​े​ै​ॊ​ो​ौ​्​ॏ​ॖ​ॗ​।​०​१​२​३​४​५​६​७​८​९​ॳ​ॴ​ॵ​ॶ​ॷCopy to clipboard

The infrequently used characters come from these blocks.

Devanagari 12 क घ ङ ज झ ञ ढ ण ध भ ष ज़Copy to clipboard

See also the Character usage lookup page, and the Script Comparison Table.

Differences from Hindi

Kashmiri doesn't use the following consonants (they include, notably, all the aspirated sonorants), however they may occasionally appear in words directly borrowed from Sanskrit and Hindi.mkr

घ␣ङ␣झ␣ञ␣ढ␣ण␣ध␣भ␣ळ␣ष

The following are additional consonants, all formed by adding a nukta.

च़␣छ़␣ज़

Kashmiri adds the following vowels (and their vowel-signs).

ॶ␣ॷ␣ऎ␣ॲ␣ऑ␣ऒ␣ॵ
ॖ␣ॗ␣ॆ␣ऺ␣ऻ␣ॊ␣ॏ

Kashmiri doesn't use the visarga.mkr

Online resources

  1. Koshur, An introduction to spoken Kashmiri
  2. Let us learn Kashmiri

References

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