Buginese is an old writing system of insular Southeast Asia employed among the Sulawesi. In their language it is called lontara', a term that also refers to the palm leaves onto which it is inscribed. The soft medium means that there are no sharp strikes in Buginese that might tear the partchment, althouth the script is angular. It was at one time used for writing contracts, trade laws, treaties, and maps, however in modern times it has been relegated to mostly ceremonial usage such as on special occasions like marriage or for the writing of poetry.

Buginese is clearly descended from Sanskrit writing, although continuity is sometimes obscured unless traced back through other scripts of Southeast Asia. It is an abugida, with an inherant vowel to each of the eighteen consonant letters of 'a' and five diacretics resting above and below the letters to represent other vowels. Syllable final consonants are left unwritten, and words are spaced. There is one punctuation mark, a period. The letter formations are mostly angular zig-zags with certain added elements such as dots or accents to distinguish similar shapes. It is written non-cursively.


Information sourced from Daniels, Peter T. Bright, William. The World's Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

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