[a] The Semitic origin of the Brahmic scripts is not universally agreed upon.
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols.
The Oriya script or Utkal Lipi(Oriya:ଉତ୍କଳ ଲିପି)or Utkalakshara(Oriya:ଉତ୍କଳାକ୍ଷର) is used to write the Oriya language, and can be used for several other Indian languages, for example, Sanskrit.
A facsimile of an inscription in Oriya script on a copper plate recording a land grant made by Rāja Purushottam Debb, king of Orissa, in the fifth year of his reign (1483 AD).
Although the cursive shape might suggest influence from southern Brahmic scripts like Tamil or Malayalam, Oriya most closely resembles Bengali and Devanagari, as a closer examination of the shapes below the characteristic circular hoops in Oriya letters reveal. These hoops, which replace the horizontal lines in Devanāgarī and Bengali are thought to be the result of the long-standing practice of writing manuscripts on palm leaves with a pointed stylus, which have a tendency to tear if too many straight lines are made on the surface.
Oriya is a syllabic alphabet or an abugida wherein all consonants have an inherent vowel embedded within. Diacritics, which can appear above, below, before or after the consonant they belong to, are used to change the form of the inherent vowel. When the diacritics appear at the beginning of a syllable, vowels are written as independent letters. Also, when certain consonants occur together, special conjunct symbols are used which combine the essential parts of each consonant symbol.
"Oṛiyā is encumbered with the drawback of an excessively awkward and cumbrous written character. ... At first glance, an Oṛiyā book seems to be all curves, and it takes a second look to notice that there is something inside each." (G.A. Grierson, Linguistic Survey of India, 1903)
The Indic fonts used here and in the following tabels are taken from INDOLIPI.
(Text taken from Bidhu Bhusan Das Gupta and Bimbadhar Das: Oriya Self-Taught, Calcutta 1967)
Translation (by Das Gupta and Das)
There lived in a certain village an old man named Chandrasekhar. He had two sons. The elder was called Shashibhusan and the younger Charubhusan. Charubhusan lost his father when he was only a year and a half old. So his mother was very much attached to him. His elder brother was older than him by seven or eight years. So when Shashibhusan was at school, Charubhusan passed his time only playing about.