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Bilang-bilang
Buginese cypher script cited by matthes.jpg
Script type
Time period
17th century – present
LanguagesBuginese language
Related scripts
Parent systems
[a] The Semitic origin of the Brahmic scripts is not universally agreed upon.
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Lontara Bilang-bilang is a cipher of the Lontara script, currently used for Buginese poetry. This script uses the Eastern Arabic numerals-inspired letterform to substitute the Lontara script, as a way to hide it to the Dutch at the time.[1] It was an adaptation to a similar ciphers of the Arabic script that has been used in South Asia around the 19th century.[2][3]

Usage

In Buginese literature, Lontara Bilang-bilang is sometimes used as a substitute to Lontara script in writing basa to bakke', a play-on-words, as well as élong maliung bettuanna, poetry with some hidden meaning using basa to bakke'. In this script, each base letter in standard Lontara are substituted with forms derived from Arabic script and its numerals, with standard, unchanged Lontara vowel diacritics attached to them.[3]

Cipher system

Lontara Bilang-Bilang substitutes Arabic letters with stylized numerals in accordance with Abjad numerals, a system that has been used in 19 AD in what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Bilang-Bilang, many letters for Arabic sounds not in Buginese are not used, while for sounds existing in Buginese and Malay, new letters are added with more stylization.[2] For example, ب have a numeral value of 2 and therefore is substituted by a stylized form of ٢, illustrated as follows:

Arabic Value Lontara
Bilang-bilang
Lontara Latin Comments
ب ٢ 2
Bilang ba.png
Lon ba.png

ba Stylization of ٢ with a short vertical line
ك ٢٠ 20
Bilang ka.png
Lon ka.png

ka Stylization of ٢ with a medium vertical line
ر ٢٠٠ 200
Bilang ra.png
Lon ra.png

ra Stylization of ٢ with a long vertical line

Jawi letters for Malay and Buginese sounds are formed with dots as equivalent for its Arabic counterpart. For example. ج (jim) uses the form of ٣, while چ (ca) uses the form of ٣ as well but with the addition of three dots, illustrated as follows:

Arab Value Lontara
Bilang-bilang
Lontara Latin Comments
ج ٣ 3
Bilang ja.png
Lon ja.png

ja Stylization of ٣
چ
Bilang ca.png
Lon ca.png

ca
Bilang ja.png
with three dots, analogous to چ
ك ٢٠ 20
Bilang ka.png
Lon ka.png

ka Stylization of ٢
Bilang ga.png
Lon ga.png

ga
Bilang ka.png
with one dot, analogous to ࢴ

Pre-nasal sounds are formed with the addition of a diacritic line, illustrated as follows:

Arab Value Lontara
Bilang-bilang
Lontara Latin Comments
ك ٢٠ 20
Bilang ka.png
Lon ka.png

ka Stylization of ٢ with a medium vertical line
Bilang ngka.png
Lon ngka.png

ngka
Bilang ka.png
with a diacritic line
ر ٢٠٠ 200
Bilang ra.png
Lon ra.png

ra Stylization of ٢ with a long vertical line
Bilang nra.png
Lon nra.png

nra
Bilang ra.png
with a diacritic line

Letterform Table

Arabic Numerical
Value
Lontara
Bilang-bilang
Lontara Latin Jawi Lontara
Bilang-bilang
Lontara Latin Lontara
Bilang-bilang
Lontara Latin
ا ١ 1
Bilang a.png
Lon a.png

a
ب ٢ 2
Bilang ba.png
Lon ba.png

ba
ج ٣ 3
Bilang ja.png
Lon ja.png

ja چ
Bilang ca.png
Lon ca.png

ca
Bilang nca.png
Lon nyca.png

nca
د ۴ 4
Bilang da.png
Lon da.png

da
ن ۵ 5
Bilang na.png
Lon na.png

na
و ۶ 6
Bilang wa.png
Lon wa.png

wa
ع ٧ 7 ڠ
Bilang nga.png
Lon nga.png

nga
ف ٨ 8
Bilang pa.png
Lon pa.png

pa
Bilang mpa.png
Lon mpa.png

mpa
ي ١٠ 10
Bilang ya.png
Lon ya.png

ya ۑ
Bilang nya.png
Lon nya.png

nya
ك ٢٠ 20
Bilang ka.png
Lon ka.png

ka
Bilang ga.png
Lon ga.png

ga
Bilang ngka.png
Lon ngka.png

ngka
ل ٣٠ 30
Bilang la.png
Lon la.png

la
م ۴٠ 40
Bilang ma.png
Lon ma.png

ma
س ۶٠ 60
Bilang sa.png
Lon sa.png

sa
ر ٢٠٠ 200
Bilang ra.png
Lon ra.png

ra
Bilang nra.png
Lon nra.png

nra
ت ۴٠٠ 400
Bilang ta.png
Lon ta.png

ta
note

Lontara 'ha' "ᨖ" does not have a Bilang-bilang equivalent[4]

Unicode

The Lontara Bilang-bilang Script has not yet been added into the Unicode standard as of version 14.0. A code range has been assigned for it in the Supplementary Multilingual Plane, but as of revision 14.0.0, no proposals has been made for assigning the letters.[5]

Example text

élong maliung bettuanna, A poetry in Lontara and Bilang-Bilang cited by Matthes (1883)[6]
élong maliung bettuanna, A poetry in Lontara and Bilang-Bilang cited by Matthes (1883)[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Lontara". Atlas of Endangered Alphabets. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b Miller, Christopher (2011-03-11). "Indonesian and Philippine Scripts and extensions not yet encoded or proposed for encoding in Unicode". UC Berkeley Script Encoding Initiative. S2CID 676490. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b Tol, Roger (1992). "Fish food on a tree branch; Hidden meanings in Bugis poetry". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia. 148 (1): 82–102. doi:10.1163/22134379-90003169.
  4. ^ Ridwan Maulana. "Lontara Bilang-bilang". Omniglot. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  5. ^ Everson, Michael; McGowan, Rick; Whistler, Ken; S. Umamaheswaran, V. "Roadmap to the SMP". Unicode. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  6. ^ Matthes, B F (1883). Eenige proeven van Boegineesche en Makassaarsche Poëzie. Martinus Nijhoff.