Bob Hallissy wrote:
> Good guess, but actually it was written on a blackboard with
> chalk.

Cheese! I didn't consider the picture's filename.

> >which, according to the Unicode book, is only used in old Malay.
> Hm, I guess I wouldn't want to interpret the Unicode book as
> suggesting that a given character is used ONLY in the languages
> which the book happens to list.

I agree. The Unicode manual is not manual about writing systems -- just I
didn't have any better memory helper at hand.

> >My exposure to Malayo-Polynesian is a little bit of Cebuano 30 years
> >ago, but the distribution of this letter seems consistent with its
> >prevalence in that related language.
> Very helpful -- thanks.

This is a strong clue: Malay should probably have LOTS of "ng" sounds at the
end of words, and your sample has not so many.

Moreover, Malay indicates plurals by reduplicated roots (like "kitab-kitab"
= "books"). In both Latin and Arabic scripts, these can be spelled in full
or indicated by appending a "2", and none of this is present in the sample.
(see an example of "kitab2" in Arabic script: the 2nd last word in the third
line of this page

> >But again, why the writer has included all the points? Is
> this a child handwriting?
> My understanding is that "all the points" are needed in many
> (non-Arabic) languages [...}. Whether Old Malay is like this
> or not I don't know.

No, points are not normally used in Jawi, the old Malay script, so it's one
more clue pointing to some other language (although a classroom situation
might be different).

_ Marco