Syllabic alphabets, alphasyllabaries or abugidas consist of symbols
for consonants and vowels. The consonants each have an inherent vowel
which can be changed to another vowel or muted by means of diacritics.
Vowels can also be written with separate letters when they occur at the
beginning of a word or on their own.
When two or more consonants occur together, special conjunct symbols
are often used which add the essential parts of first letter or letters
in the sequence to the final letter.
The illustration on the right shows how some of the vowel diacritics (in red)
are used in the Devanagari alphabet, and also shows a number of conjunct consonants.
transcriptions in the International
Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are used extensively throughout this website.
The IPA transcriptions are the letters and other symbols which appear
in square bracketts, like this [b], [p]. etc.