Indigenous Scripts Of African Languages

  • M Meshesha
  • CV Jawahar
Keywords: Indigenous scripts, Amharic writing system, indigenous language.


In Africa there are a number of languages spoken, some of which have their own indigenous scripts that are used for writing. In this paper we assess these languages and present an in-depth script analysis for the Amharic writing system, one of the well-known indigenous scripts of Africa. Amharic is the official and working language of Ethiopia and one of the few transnational African languages that function as lingua franca. This is an attempt to analyse scripts of African language to ease document analysis and understanding with the help of information communication and technology. We believe researchers will continue exploring African indigenous languages and their scripts to be part of the revolving information technology for local development. We also highlighted problems related to the scripts that have bearings in the analysis and understanding of African language documents. Among others, the use of a large number of characters in writing and existence of a large set of visually similar character pairs, are some of the major problems that makes research in the area of document analysis and understanding much more challenging than that of Latin-based scripts.

Keywords: Indigenous scripts, Amharic writing system, indigenous language.

Indilinga Vol. 6 (2) 2007 pp. 132-142

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eISSN: 1683-0296