© 2019

Handbook of Literacy in Akshara Orthography

  • R. Malatesha Joshi
  • Catherine McBride
  • Offers a systemic and coherent overview of recent research findings and orientation on akshara, an hitherto underexplored orthography

  • Contains contributions by well-known researchers

  • Covers languages spoken by approximately one third of the world’s population


Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 17)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. R. Malatesha Joshi, Catherine McBride
      Pages 3-9
    3. Peter T. Daniels
      Pages 11-42
    4. Keerthi Ramanujan, Brendan S. Weekes
      Pages 43-52
  3. Akshara Orthographies: A Brief Description

  4. Assessment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
  5. Instruction

About this book


This volume examines the unique characteristics of akshara orthography and how they may affect literacy development and problems along with the implications for assessment and instruction. Even though akshara orthography is used by more than a billion people, there is an urgent need for a systematic attempt to bring the features, research findings, and future directions of akshara together in a coherent volume. We hope that this volume will bridge that gap. 

Akshara is used in several Indic languages, each calling it by a slightly different name, for example 'aksharamu', in Telugu, 'akshara' in Kannada, and 'akshar' in Hindi. It is the Bhrami-derived orthography used across much of the Indian subcontinent. There is a growing body of research on the psycholinguistic underpinnings of learning to read akshara, and the emerging perspective is that akshara, even though classified as alphasyllabaries, abugida, and semi-syllabic writing systems, is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Rather, akshara orthography is unique and deserves to be a separate classification and needs further investigation relating to literacy acquisition in akshara. The chapters in this volume, written by leading authors in the field, will inform the reader of the current research on akshara in a coherent and systematic way.


Akshara Orthography Literacy Cross-linguistics Dyslexia Assessment for Languages of India DALI Second language learners heritage language learning bilingualism and multilingualism in India

Editors and affiliations

  • R. Malatesha Joshi
    • 1
  • Catherine McBride
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture, College of Education and Human DevelopmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Handbook of Literacy in Akshara Orthography
  • Editors R. Malatesha Joshi
    Catherine McBride
  • Series Title Literacy Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Literacy Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-05976-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-05977-4
  • Series ISSN 2214-000X
  • Series E-ISSN 2214-0018
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 388
  • Number of Illustrations 1035 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Language Education
    Asian Languages
  • Buy this book on publisher's site