The Beria script, also known as Erfa, or Erfe, is used to write the Zaghawa language spoken by about 169,000 people in Chad and Sudan. It was created in the 1950s when Adam Tajir, a schoolteacher, noted that the language was failing to spread and was in fact being replaced by Arabic, which he attributed to the lack of a Zaghawa writing system. The script was originally based on the cattle brands different clans used by way of identification. This alphabet comprised 40 characters, representing more sounds than exist in the Zaghawa inventory, as Tajir had based the character set on the Arabic language, rather than the language for which it was intended. Tajir published his proposed characters in a daily Arabic-language newspaper, and also produced texts of poetry, proverbs and short stories using the script in an attempt to propagate it. In 2000 Tajir's script was modified by Siddik Adam Issa to better represent Zaghawa phonology. Issa's modified version has received greater acceptance, and is in more common use today.
The Beria script marks stress and not tone, although transcriptions tend to mark tone but not stress. ±ATR, representing contrasting positions of the root of the tongue and of the larynx during pronunciation of vowels, is also marked.
This script is not currently recognized by ISO 15924, but is included in ScriptSource for research purposes. If you have any information on this script, please add the information to the site. Your contributions can be a great help in refining and expanding the ISO 15924 standard.