‘Malayanma’ is an ancient script used to write Malayalam language. A detailed description on this script is given by the famous linguist L. A. Ravi Varma. The Malayanma script developed as a mixture of the two ancient scripts ‘Vattezhuthu’ and ‘Kolezhuthu’. Research scholars have opined that this script is not related to the famous Grandha script. Though Malayanma script also has no consonants like the ‘Vattezhuthu’ and ‘Kolezhuthu’ scripts, it has some special alphabets which are suited to write Dravidian languages. It is believed that the three scripts- Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu and Malayanma- developed from the same family.
In his famous Grammar book ‘Kerala Paanineeyam’, A.R. Raja Raja Varma opines that the word ‘Malayanma’ was used to represent the language of ‘Malayala Nadu’ (Kerala). He called the period between AD 1325 to AD 1625 as ‘Malayanma Kaalam’ (the age of Malayanma ), the period when there was tremendous progress in the language. He also assumes that the Tamil spoken in Kerala was termed as ‘Malayaaam Tamil’ and this reduced to ‘Malayanma’.