Modi accounting signs and number forms

Posted on Sat 28 August 2010 in unicode

Before the standardization of currency and monetary units that followed the formation of the Republic of India and other nation states in South Asia in the middle of the 20th century, various forms of numerical notation were used in the region.

Modi documents contain unique signs that are used for marking monetary amounts. Two such signs are shown in the image below:


The character ꠷ is called आळी āḷī in Marathi. It represents the absence of numbers and is written after whole amounts to indicate that there are no fractions. In the image, the first highlighted example is ८००꠷ ‘800/-‘ and the third is १४०꠷ ‘140/-‘. The ꠷ sign is encoded in Unicode as U+A837 NORTH INDIC PLACEHOLDER MARK. (More information on this and other signs is provided in my proposal to encode Common Indic number forms

The other sign shown resembles the ÷ ‘division sign’ or obelus. It is used in the highlighted examples two and four in the above image. Based upon the context in which it is used, it could represent a ‘remainder’ sign, eg. the amount written and then some; or a pāvalī `quarter’.


If there is anyone who is familiar with the use of these signs in Modi, I would be happy to hear from you.