What Is an Akshara?

  • Keerthi Ramanujan
  • Brendan S. WeekesEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 17)


The answer to the question of what is an akshara is complex. To understand the concept of akshara in Indic languages, it is necessary to consider multiple levels of meaning. In historical terms, the akshara is an example of the resilience of the human invention that we call writing. In purely linguistic terms, the concept can be defined as an example of an abugida writing system, which is by no means restricted to Asian languages. In sociocultural terms, akshara is beyond any simple description. Akshara can be viewed as connected to the metaphysical world in the liturgy of ancient philosophies.


Akshara Alphasyllabary Devnagari Indian languages Indic orthography Sanskrit Writing systems 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Communication Science, Faculty of EducationUniversity of Hong KongHong KongChina

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