Lesson 8

Anak ni Surat II

In this lesson you will learn two anak ni surat or diacritics that change the value of the aksara, here in combination with ᯆ /ba/ to ᯆᯪ /bi/ or ᯆᯩ /be/. Both diacritics are used in all Batak regions, but both Karo and Simalungun also have a regional variant.

ᯆᯪ & ᯆᯫ (i)

The diacritic comes in two shapes. It is either round or has two short horizontal strokes of equal length. The latter is the preferred form in Simalungun. In Karo it is used as one of two variants, and is especially common in bamboo manuscripts.

Sirang ‘to separate’ᯘᯪᯒᯰ ᯘᯫᯒᯰᯙᯫᯓᯰᯘᯪᯒᯰᯚᯪᯒᯰ
Tiga ‘market’ᯗᯪᯎ ᯗᯫᯎᯖᯫᯎᯗᯪᯎ ᯖᯪᯎᯖᯪᯎ
Usage of the diakritic /i/

In his Toba Batak dictionary, van der Tuuk provides four names for this diacritic: Siulu, Hauluan, Haluain, and Haulian.

There are good reasons to believe that Siulu and Hauluan are the original forms. In Toba Batak, ulu means head. Si in Si=ulu is an article for human beings, and Ha-…-an is a noun-forming circumfix. One can assume that the diacritic was named Ha=ulu=an because of its head-like shape, and also because of its position on top of the aksara – keeping in mind that the text was written from bottom to top and not from left to right as we do it now.

The correctness of this assumption is also confirmed by the fact that the diacritic /i/ is named in Javanese as wulu or ulu, and in Balinese as ulu. The shape of the diacritic in Java and Bali is a circle that is left open at the bottom. The Ulu is placed on top of the aksara.


The shape and the location relative to the ina ni surat of this diacritic is the same in all Batak dialects. In combination with the letter /ba/ it forms ᯆᯩ /be/.

Its name is Kətelengən in Karo, Kətadingin in Pakpak, Hatalingan in Simalungun, Hatadingan in Toba, and Talinga in Mandailing.

Bila kita tidak memperhatikan awalan dan akhiran maka kata dasar adalah teleng (K), tading (PT), dan taling (S). Tampaknya bahwa Toba dan Pakpak tading ‘tertinggal’ adalah reinterpretasi berdasarkan letaknya yang paling kiri atas seolah-olah “ketinggalan” di belakang.

The root words teleng (K), taling (S) and talinga (M) clearly show that the Batak script is akin to the scripts of Java and Bali. Here, too, this aksara is called taling. Interesting is that taling, which does not mean anything in any of the Batak languages, was reinterpreted as tading ‘to leave behind’ – probably because of its position to the left, or better bottom, of the aksara – as one writes from bottom to top, where it is seen as being left behind.

Aksara Flashcards

Before you take the lessons further down, make sure that you have memorised the following characters:

[qdeck] [q]ᯂ[a]ha