Assamese script has evolved basically from ancient Indian script called 'Brahmi'. The history has been divided into Ancient Assamese script or Kamrupi script, Medeival script and modern script.
The ancient script spans from fifth century A.D. to thirteenth century. Medieval Assamese script spans from thirteenth century A.D. to nineteenth century. Modern Assamese script spans from Nineteenth century A.D. till date. The name Kamrupi script is derived from the name of ancient Kamarupa kingdom.
The Medieval age of Assamese script starts from Kanai Boroshibowa stone inscription. Ambari and Gochtal stone inscription, Rautkuchi inscription, copper inscription of Madhav Raja, Srikrishna Kirtan and Charjabinisway are other scripts found in the Middle age.
According to Hemachandra Goswami the manuscripts can be categorized into three groups: Gorgoyan script, Bamuniya script and Kaitheli script.
The modern age of Assamese script began with the British rule in Assam. The script that was used by the Christian Missionaries in order to publish books and magazines in Assamese in the 19th century is considered as the Assamese script. With the arrival of the printing machine the Assamese Script also changed drastically.
In the early stage of the Assamese Script there are some punctuation marks for example single vertical line, double vertical lines, single star (*), two single vertical line with a star in the middle position (1*1), double vertical lines with a single star in the middle position (11*11). Some more punctuation marks were used in the medieval period especially in the writings of Sachipat and Julapat. In some manuscripts single or double vertical lines were used. In the modern period, the English punctuation marks are used for example comma (,), Semi-colon (;), note of interrogation (?), note of exclamation (!), and so on. The Assamese Script has ten basic numeral symbols. Calligraphic representation of the Assamese script was popular during the Ahom period when the Ahom kings had patronized the calligraphers. With time however, it lost the popularity.
(Last Updated on : 24-01-2015)