Malayalam character notes

Updated 13 July, 2018 • tags malayalam, scriptnotes

This page lists characters in the following Unicode block and provides information about them.

This is not authoritative, peer-reviewed information – these are just notes I have gathered and copied from various places.

We have usage data for the following language that uses the Malayalam script: Malayalam.

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If you click on any red example text, you will see at the bottom right of the page a list of the characters that make up the example.

Read more about how to use this page.

To find a character by codepoint, type #char0000 at the end of the URL in the address bar, where 0000 is a four-figure, hex codepoint number, all in uppercase. Or type the character or the hex number in the Find control above.

To view this page as intended, you need a Malayalam font. This page comes with a Noto Sans Malayalam webfont. Click the blue vertical bar at the bottom right of the page to apply other fonts, if you have them on your system. For transcriptions I recommend the excellent and free Doulos SIL font. The large character in the box will not be rendered unless the webfont downloaded with the page or a system font has a glyph for it. (If there is no glyph and you want to see what it looks like, click on See in UniView.)

Information about languages that use these characters is taken from the list maintained for the Character Use app. The list is not exhaustive.

References are indicated by superscript characters. Wherever possible, those contain direct links to the source material. When such a pointer is alongside an arrow → it means that it's worth following the link for the additional information it provides. Digits refer to the main sources, which are listed at the bottom of a set of notes.

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Consonants

Basic consonants

U+0D15 MALAYALAM LETTER KA

Malayalam consonant k

U+0D16 MALAYALAM LETTER KHA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D17 MALAYALAM LETTER GA

Malayalam consonant g

U+0D18 MALAYALAM LETTER GHA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D19 MALAYALAM LETTER NGA

Malayalam consonant ŋ

U+0D1A MALAYALAM LETTER CA

Malayalam consonant ʧ

U+0D1B MALAYALAM LETTER CHA

Malayalam consonant ʧʰ

U+0D1C MALAYALAM LETTER JA

Malayalam consonant ʤ

U+0D1D MALAYALAM LETTER JHA

Malayalam consonant ʤʰ

U+0D1E MALAYALAM LETTER NYA

Malayalam consonant ɲ

U+0D1F MALAYALAM LETTER TTA

Malayalam consonant ʈ

U+0D20 MALAYALAM LETTER TTHA

Malayalam consonant ʈʰ

U+0D21 MALAYALAM LETTER DDA

Malayalam consonant ɖ

U+0D22 MALAYALAM LETTER DDHA

Malayalam consonant ɖʰ

U+0D23 MALAYALAM LETTER NNA

Malayalam consonant ɳ

U+0D24 MALAYALAM LETTER TA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D25 MALAYALAM LETTER THA

Malayalam consonant t̪ʰ

U+0D26 MALAYALAM LETTER DA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D27 MALAYALAM LETTER DHA

Malayalam consonant d̪ʰ

U+0D28 MALAYALAM LETTER NA

Malayalam consonant

when initial and single.

n elsewhere when single.

The geminate form can be either, eg. പന്നി pan̪n̪i (pig) and കന്നി kanni (unmarried girl).

U+0D2A MALAYALAM LETTER PA

Malayalam consonant p

U+0D2B MALAYALAM LETTER PHA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D2C MALAYALAM LETTER BA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D2D MALAYALAM LETTER BHA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D2E MALAYALAM LETTER MA

Malayalam consonant m

An m at the end of a syllable is commonly written with [U+0D02 MALAYALAM SIGN ANUSVARA], eg. ഹംസം hamsam (swan).

U+0D2F MALAYALAM LETTER YA

Malayalam consonant j

U+0D30 MALAYALAM LETTER RA

Malayalam consonant

U+0D31 MALAYALAM LETTER RRA

Malayalam consonant r (alveolar)

when doubled, eg. മാറ്റം matːam (change).

U+0D32 MALAYALAM LETTER LA

Malayalam consonant l

U+0D33 MALAYALAM LETTER LLA

Malayalam consonant ɭ

U+0D34 MALAYALAM LETTER LLLA

Malayalam consonant ɹ

U+0D35 MALAYALAM LETTER VA

Malayalam consonant ʋ

U+0D36 MALAYALAM LETTER SHA

Malayalam consonant ɕ

U+0D37 MALAYALAM LETTER SSA

Malayalam consonant ʃ

U+0D38 MALAYALAM LETTER SA

Malayalam consonant s

U+0D39 MALAYALAM LETTER HA

Malayalam consonant h

Chillu letters

Vowels

Independent vowels

U+0D05 MALAYALAM LETTER A

Malayalam independent vowel a

U+0D06 MALAYALAM LETTER AA

Malayalam independent vowel

U+0D07 MALAYALAM LETTER I

Malayalam independent vowel i

U+0D08 MALAYALAM LETTER II

Malayalam independent vowel

Content authors should use this code point and not the sequence + [U+0D07 MALAYALAM LETTER I + U+0D57 MALAYALAM AU LENGTH MARK].

U+0D09 MALAYALAM LETTER U

Malayalam independent vowel u

U+0D0A MALAYALAM LETTER UU

Malayalam independent vowel

Content authors should use this code point and not the sequence + [U+0D09 MALAYALAM LETTER U + U+0D57 MALAYALAM AU LENGTH MARK].

U+0D0B MALAYALAM LETTER VOCALIC R

Malayalam independent vowel

U+0D0E MALAYALAM LETTER E

Malayalam independent vowel e

U+0D0F MALAYALAM LETTER EE

Malayalam independent vowel

U+0D10 MALAYALAM LETTER AI

Malayalam independent vowel ai̯

Content authors should use this code point and not the sequence + [U+0D0E MALAYALAM LETTER E + U+0D46 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN E].1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D12 MALAYALAM LETTER O

Malayalam independent vowel o

Content authors should use:1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D13 MALAYALAM LETTER OO

Malayalam independent vowel

Content authors should use this code point and not the sequence + [U+0D12 MALAYALAM LETTER O + U+0D3E MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AA].1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D14 MALAYALAM LETTER AU

Malayalam independent vowel au̯

Content authors should use this code point and not the sequence + [U+0D12 MALAYALAM LETTER O + U+0D57 MALAYALAM AU LENGTH MARK].1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

Dependent vowel signs

U+0D3E MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AA

Malayalam vowel

Content authors should use:1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

ി

U+0D3F MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN I

Malayalam vowel i

U+0D40 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN II

Malayalam vowel

U+0D41 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN U

Malayalam vowel u

U+0D42 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN UU

Malayalam independent vowel

U+0D43 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC R

Malayalam vowel

U+0D46 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN E

Malayalam vowel e

Appears to the left of the base consonant, but content authors should type it after the consonant.

Content authors should use:1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D47 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN EE

Malayalam vowel

Appears to the left of the base consonant, but content authors should type it after the consonant.

Content authors should use:1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D48 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AI

Malayalam vowel ai̯

Appears to the left of the base consonant, but content authors should type it after the consonant.

Content authors should use this code point, rather than two of [U+0D46 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN E].1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D4A MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN O

Malayalam vowel sign o

The two parts appear on either side of the consonant.

This is equivalent to + [U+0D46 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN E + U+0D3E MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AA], but U+0D4A is the NFC normalised form, so content authors should use this single code point rather than the other two together. (If two code points are used, they must both be typed and stored in memory after the base consonant.)1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D4B MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN OO

Malayalam vowel sign

The two parts appear on either side of the consonant.

This is equivalent to + [U+0D47 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN EE + U+0D3E MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AA], but U+0D4B is the NFC normalised form, so content authors should use this single code point rather than the other two together. (If two code points are used, they must both be typed and stored in memory after the base consonant.)1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D57 MALAYALAM AU LENGTH MARK

Malayalam vowel sign au̯

Although this is originally an indicator of vowel length, it has been used for some time as the normal way to write the sound au̯.

Previously, that sound was represented by a vowel sign that surrounded the base character. If you want to use that form in your text you should use [U+0D4C MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AU].

Content authors should use:1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D4C MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN AU

Malayalam vowel sign au̯

This is an old-fashioned way to write this vowel sign. The modern way of writing the vowel sign eliminates the left hand side. You should use the separate code point [U+0D57 MALAYALAM AU LENGTH MARK] for that.1

The two parts appear on either side of the consonant.

This is equivalent to + [U+0D46 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN E + U+0D57 MALAYALAM AU LENGTH MARK], but U+0D4C is the NFC normalised form, so content authors should use this single code point rather than the other two together. (If two code points are used, they must both be typed and stored in memory after the base consonant.)1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

Additions for Sanskrit

U+0D60 MALAYALAM LETTER VOCALIC RR

Malayalam vowel sign

Very rare. Used to write Sanskrit words in Malayalam script.1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D44 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC RR

Malayalam vowel sign

Very rare. Used to write Sanskrit words in Malayalam script.1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D0C MALAYALAM LETTER VOCALIC L

Malayalam independent vowel

Used only in one Malayalam word borrowed from Sanskrit.

U+0D62 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC L

Malayalam vowel sign lu

Very rare. Used to write Sanskrit words in Malayalam script.1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D61 MALAYALAM LETTER VOCALIC LL

Malayalam vowel sign

Very rare. Used to write Sanskrit words in Malayalam script.1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

U+0D63 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC LL

Malayalam vowel sign

Very rare. Used to write Sanskrit words in Malayalam script.1

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

Historic vowel

Signs

Various

U+0D02 MALAYALAM SIGN ANUSVARA

Malayalam combining mark

m (used at the end of a syllable), eg. ഹംസം hamsam (swan).

Viramas

U+0D4D MALAYALAM SIGN VIRAMA

Malayalam chandrakkala

Functions as a normal indic virama to indicate conjuncts in consonant clusters, eg. ക്ഷ kṣ, ക്ക kka, പ്പ ppa, etc

Another function, however, is to reduce vowel sounds, producing the sound known as 'half-u' or samvruthokaram, ie. ə.

In traditional orthography this is produced using [U+0D41 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN U] with a virama above, eg. പാലു് paːlə pālŭ milk.

In modern orthography it is produced using the chandrakkala above a vowel or a consonant, in which case it reduces the vowel or the inherent vowel to ə, eg. എ്ന്നാ ənnaː ŭnnā on which day?, ഐശീല്ം ai̯ɕiːləm aiśīlŭṃ than ice.

Note that the first example in the previous paragraph uses the chandrakkala in both ways. The 2nd example shows the chandrakkala before the anusvara, which is normal.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 9 p499

Dot reph

Date mark

Measurement sign

Addition for Sanskrit

Numbers

Digits

Malayalam numerics

Fractions

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