Malayanma Script

“Malayanma”, from Pracina Kerala Lipikal, by El E Ravivarmma/Source:Erin McLaughlin
Malayanma is one of the oldest scripts used to write Malayalam language. It has elements of other earlier Malayalam language scripts 'Vattezhuthu’ and ‘Kolezhuthu’. It was thought to be related to famous 'Grantha' script, but research has falsified this notion. It has no consonants like  ‘Vattezhuthu’ and ‘Kolezhuthu’ scripts, but it has some special characters which are suited to write other Dravidian languages also. It is believed that Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu and Malayanma has developed from a same proto-Malayalam language script.

A.R. Rajaraja Varma, in his famous Grammar book ‘Kerala Paanineeyam' has opined that Malayanm was used by Malayalam speakers of Malayalam Nadu (region encompassing modern day Thiruvananthpuram) and popular between 1325-1625, the period which he calls Malayanma Kaalam. He also opines that Tamil language of Kerala termed as Malayalam Tamil also dissimilated into Malayanma.

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