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Ol Cemet' Metafont for TeX and LaTeX

Santali, a Munda language of the Austo-Asiatic language family, is curstomarily written in four scripts --- Bangla, Oriya, Devanagari and Roman --- depending on the geographic distribution of the Santal population across the Indian sub-continent. The population spans Assam, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

Pandit Raghunath Murmu in 1920s devised a writing system for the Santali language, called Ol cemet', Ol Ciki or simply Ol. The writing system dispenses with the syllabary pattern of the Devanagari that is common to almost all Indic languages. Ol Cemet' is perfectly phonemic and therefore fully alphabetic in nature.

Ol Cemet' Metafont

The Ol Cemet' has come out by way of my experiment with designing a Bangla Metafont, which implies that there is enough room for further development, or tidying the codes, input methods and macro functionalities.

The Ol Metafont has the roman, italic and bold faces, in three styles --- modulated, unmodulated and round penned. The faces are in three point-sizes --- 8pt, 10pt and 14pt. Of course, the point-size can be magnified positively or negatively with the help of TeX's magnification primitive, which works both in Plain TeX and LaTeX2e.

Ol Cemet' Metafont has 82 characters: 10 numerals, six vowels, 24 consonants, six signs, seven punctuation marks, 28 typographical and arithmatic symbosls and an empty sign mostly used for the font's internal ligature input control mechanism. And these 82 glyphs are enough to write books and common arithmetic.

Writing scheme

Ol Ciki digits are straightforward. Keying in Arabic numerals (0123456789) will produce the Ol Ciki numerals (᱐᱑᱒᱓᱔᱕᱖᱗᱘᱙). Ol Ciki vowels ᱚ(O), ᱟ(a), ᱤ(i), ᱩ(u), ᱮ(e) and ᱳ(o) and the consonants are ᱛ(t), ᱠ(k), ᱥ(s), ᱪ(c), ᱯ(p), ᱴ(T), ᱜ(g), ᱡ(j), ᱦ(h), ᱫ(d), ᱰ(D), ᱵ(b), ᱝ(G), ᱢ(m), ᱧ(J), ᱬ(N), ᱱ(n), ᱶ(w), ᱞ(l), ᱣ(v), ᱨ(r), ᱭ(y), ᱲ(R) and ᱷ(H). The vowel marks are ᱸ(\^), ᱹ(|), ᱺ(:), ᱻ(\~), ᱼ(\.) and ᱽ("). Ol Ciki punctuations proper are two periods ᱾(.) and ᱿(..). Other punctuations in the file are comma (,), semi-colon (;), opening parenthesis ((), closing parenthesis ()) and question mark (?).


After download, create a folder, or directory, in c:\texmf\fonts\tex\latex\olcemet, or whatever, for MiKTeX distribution on Windows or system#/texmf/tex/latex/olcemet, or whatever for teTeX distribution in Linux. Unzip the fonts there.

Make it a point that you are "root" on the system when installing the fonts in Linux.

Now run Start | Programs | MiKTeX | Maintenance | Refresh Filename Database in Windows or issue the command initexmf --update-fndb from the DOS command box.

For teTeX, run texhash, if this does not work, run texconfig and select rebuild ls-R database and then exit.

How to use

Create a text file, with .tex ending, and write:

\input olfont              % to load the font handling macros
\cemet % to switch to Ol Cemet'
... your text ...

Using Ol Cemet' Metafont in LaTeX2e

Create a text file, with .tex endign, and write

\usepackage{olcemet.sty} % to load the font and macros
\cemet % switch to Ol Cement'
... your text ...


Revised: 5 April 2011