Gurmukhi writing is especially prevelant for Sikh
religious writings. It evolved from old Brahmi
along parallel paths with Devanagari
, but its present form was finalized by the second Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Angad
in the early 1500s. 'Gurmukhi' translates literally as 'from the mouth of the Guru' in Punjabi
. The earliest writing was for a series of religions hymn
s and poem
s. An alternate name for abugida
, 'the thirty-five', for the number of consonant-vowel syllable
Punjabi itself is a tonal language, however Gurmukhi has no set mechanism for indicating the three tones of spoken word. Certain tones correspond to certain consonant series, however, and the voiced aspirates' alternate forms have evolved as an ad hoc method of indicating tonality.
Information sourced from Daniels, Peter T. Bright, William. The World's Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.