Abugida

abugidasalphasyllabaryalphasyllabariesAlphasyllabicalphasyllabaricConsonant stackingIndic writing systems
An abugida (from Ge'ez: አቡጊዳ ’abugida), or alphasyllabary, is a segmental writing system in which consonant–vowel sequences are written as a unit: each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is secondary.wikipedia
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Alphabet

alphabeticalphabetsalphabetical
This contrasts with a full alphabet, in which vowels have status equal to consonants, and with an abjad, in which vowel marking is absent, partial, or optional (although in less formal contexts, all three types of script may be termed alphabets).
Peter T. Daniels, however, distinguishes an abugida or alphasyllabary, a set of graphemes that represent consonantal base letters which diacritics modify to represent vowels (as in Devanagari and other South Asian scripts), an abjad, in which letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants (as in the original Phoenician, Hebrew or Arabic), and an "alphabet", a set of graphemes that represent both vowels and consonants.

Canadian Aboriginal syllabics

syllabicsCanadian syllabicsUnified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics
Abugidas include the extensive Brahmic family of scripts of Tibet, South and Southeast Asia, Semitic Ethiopic scripts, and Canadian Aboriginal syllabics (which are themselves based in part on Brahmic scripts).
Canadian syllabic writing, or simply syllabics, is a family of abugidas (writing systems based on consonant-vowel pairs) created by James Evans to write a number of indigenous Canadian languages of the Algonquian, Inuit, and (formerly) Athabaskan language families, which had no formal writing system previously.

Writing system

scriptwriting systemsscripts
An abugida (from Ge'ez: አቡጊዳ ’abugida), or alphasyllabary, is a segmental writing system in which consonant–vowel sequences are written as a unit: each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is secondary. Abugida as a term in linguistics was proposed by Peter T. Daniels in his 1990 typology of writing systems.
Abjads differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, and in abugidas or alphasyllabaries each character represents a consonant–vowel pairing.

Semitic languages

SemiticSemitic languageArabian
Abugidas include the extensive Brahmic family of scripts of Tibet, South and Southeast Asia, Semitic Ethiopic scripts, and Canadian Aboriginal syllabics (which are themselves based in part on Brahmic scripts).
The Ge'ez script, used for writing the Semitic languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea, is technically an abugida – a modified abjad in which vowels are notated using diacritic marks added to the consonants at all times, in contrast with other Semitic languages which indicate diacritics based on need or for introductory purposes.

Abjad

Semitic abjadsconsonantal alphabetabjads
This contrasts with a full alphabet, in which vowels have status equal to consonants, and with an abjad, in which vowel marking is absent, partial, or optional (although in less formal contexts, all three types of script may be termed alphabets).
Abjads differ from abugidas, another category defined by Daniels, in that in abjads, the vowel sound is implied by phonology, and where vowel marks exist for the system, such as nikkud for Hebrew and ḥarakāt for Arabic, their use is optional and not the dominant (or literate) form.

Khmer script

KhmerKhmer alphabetKhmer alphabet – Unicode
When they are arranged vertically, as in Burmese or Khmer, they are said to be 'stacked'.
The Khmer script is an abugida (alphasyllabary) script used to write the Khmer language (the official language of Cambodia).

Burmese alphabet

BurmeseMyanmarBurmese characters
When they are arranged vertically, as in Burmese or Khmer, they are said to be 'stacked'.
The Burmese alphabet is an abugida used for writing Burmese.

Orthographic ligature

ligatureligaturestypographic ligature
In the Indic scripts, the earliest method was simply to arrange them vertically, but the two consonants may merge as a conjunct consonant letters, where two or more letters are graphically joined in a ligature, or otherwise change their shapes.
Ligatures figure prominently in many historical manuscripts, notably the Brahmic abugidas, or the bind rune of the Migration Period Germanic runic inscriptions.

Semi-syllabary

Semisyllabarysemi-syllabariessemi-syllabic
Other terms that have been used include neosyllabary (Février 1959), pseudo-alphabet (Householder 1959), semisyllabary (Diringer 1968; a word that has other uses) and syllabic alphabet (Coulmas 1996; this term is also a synonym for syllabary).
The term has traditionally been extended to abugidas, but for the purposes of this article it will be restricted to scripts where some characters are alphabetic and others are syllabic.

Tibetan script

TibetanTibetan alphabetTibetan writing
The Tibetan script is an abugida of Indic origin (Brahmic scripts) used to write the Tibetic languages such as Tibetan, as well as Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Ladakhi and sometimes Balti.

Diacritic

diacriticsdiacritical markdiacritical marks
Each syllable is either a letter that represents the sound of a consonant and the inherent vowel, or a letter with a modification to indicate the vowel, either by means of diacritics, or by changes in the form of the letter itself.
In abugida scripts, like those used to write Hindi and Thai, diacritics indicate vowels, and may occur above, below, before, after, or around the consonant letter they modify.

Inherent vowel

inherentimplicit vowelinherent" vowel
An inherent vowel is part of an abugida (or alphasyllabary) script.

Geʽez

Ge'ezEthiopicGe'ez language
An abugida (from Ge'ez: አቡጊዳ ’abugida), or alphasyllabary, is a segmental writing system in which consonant–vowel sequences are written as a unit: each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is secondary.
Geʽez is written with Ethiopic or the Geʽez abugida, a script that was originally developed specifically for this language.

Zero consonant

zero onsetnull consonantZero
For some languages, a zero consonant letter is used as though every syllable began with a consonant.
Some abjads, abugidas, and alphabets have zero consonants, generally because they have an orthographic rule that all syllables must begin with a consonant letter, whereas the language they transcribe allows syllables to start with a vowel.

Syllabary

syllabicsyllabariessyllabic script
Other terms that have been used include neosyllabary (Février 1959), pseudo-alphabet (Householder 1959), semisyllabary (Diringer 1968; a word that has other uses) and syllabic alphabet (Coulmas 1996; this term is also a synonym for syllabary). The terms also contrast them with a syllabary, in which the symbols cannot be split into separate consonants and vowels.
Some scholars, e.g. Daniels, reserve the general term for analytic syllabaries and invent other terms (abugida, abjad) as necessary.

Peter T. Daniels

Daniels, Peter T.
Abugida as a term in linguistics was proposed by Peter T. Daniels in his 1990 typology of writing systems.
He was co-editor (with William Bright) of the book The World's Writing Systems (1996), and he introduced the terms abjad (an "alphabet" with no vowel letters) and abugida (a system partly alphabetic, partly syllabic) as modern linguistic terms for categories of scripts.

Bengali alphabet

BengaliBengali scriptBangla
From a classificatory point of view, the Bengali script is an abugida, i.e. its vowel graphemes are mainly realised not as independent letters, but as diacritics modifying the vowel inherent in the base letter they are added to.

Lao script

LaoLao alphabetLaos
ʼPhags-pa is an example of an abugida that is not an alphasyllabary, and modern Lao is an example of an alphasyllabary that is not an abugida, for its vowels are always explicit.
In its earlier form, Lao would be considered an abugida, in which the inherent vowel is embedded in the consonant letters.

Javanese script

JavaneseHanacarakaCacarakan
Today they are used in most languages of South Asia (although replaced by Perso-Arabic in Urdu, Kashmiri and some other languages of Pakistan and India), mainland Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia), and Indonesian archipelago (Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, etc.).
The Javanese script, natively known as Aksara Jawa and Hanacaraka, formally known as Déntawyanjana and Carakan, is an abugida developed by the Javanese people to write several Austronesian languages spoken in Indonesia, primarily the Javanese language and an early form of Javanese called Kawi, as well as Sanskrit, an Indo-Aryan language used as a sacred language throughout Asia.

Arabic script

ArabicPerso-Arabic scriptPerso-Arabic
Today they are used in most languages of South Asia (although replaced by Perso-Arabic in Urdu, Kashmiri and some other languages of Pakistan and India), mainland Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia), and Indonesian archipelago (Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, etc.).
With the spread of Islam, it came to be used as the primary script for many language families, leading to the addition of new letters and other symbols, with some versions, such as Kurdish, Uyghur and old Bosnian being abugidas or true alphabets.

Gujarati script

GujaratiGujarati alphabet
Most North Indic scripts' full letters incorporate a horizontal line at the top, with Gujarati and Odia as exceptions; South Indic scripts do not.
The Gujarati script (ગુજરાતી લિપિ Gujǎrātī Lipi) is an abugida used to write the Gujarati and Kutchi languages.

Tamil script

TamilTamil alphabetTamil inscriptions
The Tamil script is an abugida script that is used by Tamils and Tamil speakers in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and elsewhere to write the Tamil language, as well as to write the liturgical language Sanskrit, using consonants and diacritics not represented in the Tamil alphabet.

Devanagari ka

A basic letter such as क in Hindi represents a syllable with the default vowel, in this case ka.
Ka (कवर्ण kavarna) is the first consonant of the Devanagari abugida.

Devanagari

DevanāgarīDevanagari scriptDevnagari
In the latter case, the fact of combination may be indicated by a diacritic on one of the consonants or a change in the form of one of the consonants, e.g. the half forms of Devanagari.
Devanagari (देवनागरी, Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (Nāgarī, नागरी), is a left-to-right abugida (alphasyllabary), based on the ancient Brāhmī script, used in the Indian subcontinent.

Geʽez script

Ge'ezGe'ez scriptEthiopic
Abugidas include the extensive Brahmic family of scripts of Tibet, South and Southeast Asia, Semitic Ethiopic scripts, and Canadian Aboriginal syllabics (which are themselves based in part on Brahmic scripts).
Geʽez (Geʽez: ግዕዝ, '), also known as Ethiopic''', is a script used as an abugida (alphasyllabary) for several languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia.