A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in being a reliable form of information storage and transfer; the processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing is recorded onto a durable medium, such as paper or electronic storage, although non-durable methods may be used, such as writing on a computer display, on a blackboard, in sand, or by skywriting; the general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies. Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. In the alphabetic category, there is a standard set of letters of consonants and vowels that encode based on the general principle that the letters represent speech sounds. In a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora.
In a logography, each character represents morpheme, or other semantic units. Other categories include abjads, which differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, abugidas or alphasyllabaries, with each character representing a consonant–vowel pairing. Alphabets use a set of 20-to-35 symbols to express a language, whereas syllabaries can have 80-to-100, logographies can have several hundreds of symbols. Most systems will have an ordering of its symbol elements so that groups of them can be coded into larger clusters like words or acronyms, giving rise to many more possibilities in meanings than the symbols can convey by themselves. Systems will enable the stringing together of these smaller groupings in order to enable a full expression of the language; the reading step expressed orally. A special set of symbols known as punctuation is used to aid in structure and organization of many writing systems and can be used to help capture nuances and variations in the message's meaning that are communicated verbally by cues in timing, accent, inflection or intonation.
A writing system will typically have a method for formatting recorded messages that follows the spoken version's rules like its grammar and syntax so that the reader will have the meaning of the intended message preserved. Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms and other mnemonic symbols. Proto-writing lacked the ability to express a full range of thoughts and ideas; the invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner, not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable. Soon after, writing provided a reliable form of long distance communication. With the advent of publishing, it provided the medium for an early form of mass communication; the creation of a new alphabetic writing system for a language with an existing logographic writing system is called alphabetization, as when the People's Republic of China studied the prospect of alphabetizing the Chinese languages with Latin script, Cyrillic script, Arabic script, numbers, although the most common instance of it, converting to Latin script, is called romanization.
Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that a writing system is always associated with at least one spoken language. In contrast, visual representations such as drawings and non-verbal items on maps, such as contour lines, are not language-related; some symbols on information signs, such as the symbols for male and female, are not language related, but can grow to become part of language if they are used in conjunction with other language elements. Some other symbols, such as numerals and the ampersand, are not directly linked to any specific language, but are used in writing and thus must be considered part of writing systems; every human community possesses language, which many regard as an innate and defining condition of humanity. However, the development of writing systems, the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication, have been sporadic and slow. Once established, writing systems change more than their spoken counterparts.
Thus they preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. One of the great benefits of writing systems is that they can preserve a permanent record of information expressed in a language. All writing systems require: at least one set of defined base elements or symbols, individually termed signs and collectively called a script. In the examination of individual scripts, the study of writing systems has developed along independent lines. Thus, the terminology employed differs somewhat from field to field; the generic term text refers to an instance of writte
Mahajani is a Laṇḍā mercantile script, used in northern India for writing accounts and financial records in Marwari and Punjabi. It is written left-to-right. Mahajani refers to the Hindi word for'bankers' known as'sarrafi' or'kothival'. Mahajani has been used as a primary accounting script for Marwari traders and for the use of Hindi and Punjabi in a wide region across northwest India and eastern Pakistan, it was taught in merchant schools as part of the education system. A vast majority of documents in which it is found are financial documents, in addition to primers, its use has been reported by bookkeepers in Haryana as the Langdi script, although its relationship with Langdi is uncertain. Mahajani descended from Landa scripts in the greater Punjab region in historic times and was well known as a merchant's script throughout north India, it may have been influenced by Kaithi and Devanagari. It has fewer vowels than most North Indian scripts, the use of them is optional; the vowels i and u can represent both their short and long forms in addition to diphthongs and related vowels.
Since vowels are optional, they must be interpreted in context for most Mahajani texts. There are no special conjunct consonant forms, there are no viramas to indicate them. Nasalization, if indicated, is represented by'na', it has various fraction marks, accounting marks, textual organization marks, to indicate paragraph and word spacing, abbreviation and space marks. As many Mahajani texts are accounting books, accounting symbols have been found, but they are undergoing further research for proper encoding, it uses a Devanagari-like baseline only to mark title headings on texts, not like in Devanagari where the baseline is an integral part of the characters. Some characters have glyphic variants, which can be found in greater detail in the Unicode Proposal. Mahajani script was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0. The Unicode block for Mahajani is U+11150–U+1117F
Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, in the southeast of the country, the historical home of the Sindhi people. Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area, second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, Punjab province to the north. Sindh borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh. Sindh has Pakistan's second largest economy, while its provincial capital Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and financial hub, hosts the headquarters of several multinational banks. Sindh is home to a large portion of Pakistan's industrial sector and contains two of Pakistan's commercial seaports, Port Bin Qasim and the Karachi Port; the remainder of Sindh has an agriculture based economy, produces fruit, food consumer items, vegetables for the consumption other parts of the country.
Sindh is known for its distinct culture, influenced by Sufism, an important marker of Sindhi identity for both Hindus and Muslims in the province. Several important Sufi shrines are located throughout the province which attract millions of annual devotees. Sindh's capital, Karachi, is Pakistan's most ethnically diverse city, with Muhajirs, or descendants of those who migrated to Pakistan from India after 1947 and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, making up the majority of the population. Karachi and other urban centres of Sindh have seen ethnic tensions between the native Sindhis and the Muhajirs boil over into violence on several occasions. Sindh is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Historical Monuments at Makli, the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro; the word Sindh is derived from the Sanskrit term Sindhu, a reference to Indus River. The official spelling "Sind" was discontinued in 1988 by an amendment passed in Sindh Assembly; the Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indós, hence the modern Indus.
The ancient Iranians referred to everything east of the river Indus as hind. Sindh's first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh in Balochistan, to the west expanded into Sindh; this culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization rivalled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in size and scope, numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems; the primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji. This was one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world, it flourished between the 25th century BCE and 1500 BCE in the Indus valley sites of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The people had a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which remains un-deciphered.
The ruins of the well planned towns, the brick buildings of the common people, public baths and the covered drainage system suggest a organized community. According to some accounts, there is no evidence of large palaces or burial grounds for the elite; the grand and holy site might have been the great bath, built upon an artificially created elevation. This indigenous civilization collapsed around 1700 BCE; the cause may have been a massive earthquake, which dried up the Ghaggar River. Skeletons discovered in the ruins of Moan Jo Daro were thought to indicate that the city was attacked and the population was wiped out, but further examinations showed that the marks on the skeletons were due to erosion and not of violence; the ancient city of Roruka, identified with modern Aror/Rohri, was capital of the Sauvira Kingdom, finds mentioned early Buddhist literature as a major trading center. Sindh finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as being part of Bharatvarsha. Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC.
In the late 4th century BC, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. Alexander described his encounters with these trans-Indus tribes of Sindh: "I am involved in the land of lions and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander." The region remained under control of Greek satraps for only a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BC. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh. Mauryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king by the Shunga Dynasty. In the disorder that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of the northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom.
Under the reign of Menander I, many Indo-Greeks converted to Buddhism. In the late 2nd century BC, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the P
Rajput is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status, although not all claims are universally accepted; the term "Rajput" acquired its present meaning only in the 16th century, although it is anachronistically used to describe the earlier lineages that emerged in northern India from 6th century onwards. In the 11th century, the term "rajaputra" appeared as a non-hereditary designation for royal officials; the Rajputs emerged as a social class comprising people from a variety of ethnic and geographical backgrounds. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the membership of this class became hereditary, although new claims to Rajput status continued to be made in the centuries. Several Rajput-ruled kingdoms played a significant role in many regions of central and northern India until the 20th century.
The Rajput population and the former Rajput states are found in north, west and east India. These areas include Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. In Pakistan they are found on the eastern parts of the country, Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan in K. P.. The origin of the Rajputs has been a much-debated topic among the historians. Colonial-era writers characterised them as descendants of the foreign invaders such as the Scythians or the Hunas, believed that the Agnikula myth was invented to conceal their foreign origin. According to this theory, the Rajputs originated when these invaders were assimilated into the Kshatriya category during the 6th or 7th century, following the collapse of the Gupta Empire. While many of these colonial writers propagated this foreign-origin theory in order to legitimise the colonial rule, the theory was supported by some Indian scholars, such as D. R. Bhandarkar; the Indian nationalist historians, such as C. V. Vaidya, believed the Rajputs to be descendants of the ancient Vedic Aryan Kshatriyas.
A third group of historians, which includes Jai Narayan Asopa, theorized that the Rajputs were Brahmins who became rulers. However, recent research suggests that the Rajputs came from a variety of ethnic and geographical backgrounds; the root word "rajaputra" first appears as a designation for royal officials in the 11th century Sanskrit inscriptions. According to some scholars, it was reserved for the immediate relatives of a king. Over time, the derivative term "Rajput" came to denote a hereditary political status, not very high: the term could denote a wide range of rank-holders, from an actual son of a king to the lowest-ranked landholder. Before the 15th century, the term "Rajput" was associated with people of mixed-caste origin, was therefore considered inferior in rank to "Kshatriya"; the term Rajput came to denote a social class, formed when the various tribal and nomadic groups became landed aristocrats, transformed into the ruling class. These groups ranks; the early medieval literature suggests that this newly formed Rajput class comprised people from multiple castes.
Thus, the Rajput identity is not the result of a shared ancestry. Rather, it emerged when different social groups of medieval India sought to legitimize their newly acquired political power by claiming Kshatriya status; these groups started identifying as Rajput in different ways. Scholarly opinions differ on when the term Rajput acquired hereditary connotations and came to denote a clan-based community. Historian Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya, based on his analysis of inscriptions, believed that by the 12th century, the term "rajaputra" was associated with fortified settlements, kin-based landholding, other features that became indicative of the Rajput status. According to Chattopadhyaya, the title acquired "an element of heredity" from c. 1300. A study by of 11th-14th century inscriptions from western and central India, by Michael B. Bednar, concludes that the designations such as "rajaputra", "thakkura" and "rauta" were not hereditary during this period. During its formative stages, the Rajput class was quite assimilative and absorbed people from a wide range of lineages.
However, by the late 16th century, it had become genealogically rigid, based on the ideas of blood purity. The membership of the Rajput class was now inherited rather than acquired through military achievements. A major factor behind this development was the consolidation of the Mughal Empire, whose rulers had great interest in genealogy; as the various Rajput chiefs became Mughal feduatories, they no longer engaged in major conflicts with each other. This decreased the possibility of achieving prestige through military action, made hereditary prestige more important; the word "Rajput" thus acquired its present-day meaning in the 16th century. During 16th and 17th centuries, the Rajput rulers and their bards sought to legitimize the Rajput socio-political status on the basis of descent and kinship, they fabricated genealogies linking the Rajput families to the ancient dynasties, associated them with myths of origins that established their Kshatriya status. This led to the emergence of what Indologist Dirk Kolff calls the "Rajput Great Tradition", which accepted only hereditary claims to the Rajput identity, fostered a notion of eliteness and exclusivity.
The legendary epic poem Prithvira
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Tharparkar District, is one of the twenty nine districts of Sindh province in Pakistan. It is largest district of Sindh province by land area, it is headquartered at Mithi. It has the lowest Human Development Index of all the districts in Sindh. Thar has a fertile desert and the livelihood of Thari people depends on rainfall agriculture. Tharparkar has the only fertile desert in the world. Local Language is Dhatki, one of the Rajasthani languages of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family, it is most related to Marwari. Sindhi and Punjabi are understood by the citizens. According to the 1998 census, Muslims constituted 59% of the population and the Hindus 41% of the district's population. At the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the Hindus were 80% while the Muslims were 20% of the population. In the years 1965 and 1971, population exchanges took place in the Thar between Pakistan. Thousands of Hindus migrated from Pakistani Thar to the Indian section of the Thar. 3,500 Muslim families shifted from the Indian section of the Thar to Pakistani Thar.
The Muslim families were given 12 acres of land each. Famous Places 1) Karonjhar Mountain 2) Bhodesar Mosque 3) Marvi Well 4) Gadhi Bhit 5) Naukot Fort According to the Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017, Tharparkar has an education score of just 30 out of a potential 100; the education score is composed of retention score and gender parity score. Tharparkar's retention score is just 26, while the gender parity score is only 64. Out of the 155 ranked districts, Tharparkar is ranked 128th in the middle school infrastructure score index, which focuses on availability of basic facilities and the building condition of schools; the lack of electricity and drinking water in schools remain a concern in the district, along with unsatisfactory and dangerous school buildings.200 schools in district Tharparkar are temporarily dysfunctional. 78 schools are viably dysfunctional. 345 schools in district Tharparkar are shelter-less, 1,929 schools out of the total 3,439 schools are one classroom schools.
Only 22 schools in whole district have science labs. The literacy rate for adults aged 10 years and older is 21 % for females. Only 21% of the total schools in the district are girls’ schools. Due to lesser number of schools, enrolment sees a steady decline as we move up the classes from class 5 to class 6 and class 8 to class 9. Girls are more affected by this than boys. Only 34% of the total enrolled students are girls. There are only 673 primary schools for girls compared to 2,506 for boys, 31 middle schools for girls compared to 182 middle schools for boys and only 7 high schools for girls as compared to 33 high schools for boys. There is no higher secondary school for girls in Tharparkar. In the “2013-2018 Five Years of Education Reforms in Sindh. Wins and challenges for 2018-2023.” Report, data from the Standardized Achievement Test report published by the Sindh government in 2017, was analyzed to discover that students from Tharparkar ranked among the top 10 districts for Maths and Science subjects, while it ranked among the bottom for languages.
In grade 8 Maths, Tharparkar ranked first for student achievement. Students in Tharparkar proved their passion for Maths and Science at the Thar Science Festival held in February 2018 with the collaboration of Alif Ailaan, Thar Education Alliance, several other organizations. Over 15,000 students from government and private schools traveled to Mithi to participate in and attend the first of its kind festival in Tharparkar. Covered extensively in the print and digital media, the festival received commendation from the people of Thar, community leaders and politicians alike. On the TaleemDo! App, a number of education issues have been uploaded by active young leaders and activists in the district. In government schools, infrastructure and teacher issues are prevalent. Many school buildings are used as personal guesthouses of influential landowners. Teacher quality and teacher absenteeism is a grave concern; the education crisis in Tharparkar is severe, needs the attention of concerned authorities.
The district is divided into 7 Talukas: Mithi Diplo Islamkot Chachro Dahli Nagarparkar Kaloi Kertee Chelhar Kantio Kaloi Kertee Rana Hamir Singh Surendar Valasai Bherulal Balani Gianchand Gori Temple Thar desert Tharparkar Tharparkar Churrio Jabal
International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language; the IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, speech-language pathologists, actors, constructed language creators and translators. The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes and the separation of words and syllables. To represent additional qualities of speech, such as tooth gnashing and sounds made with a cleft lip and cleft palate, an extended set of symbols, the extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, may be used. IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements of two basic types and diacritics. For example, the sound of the English letter ⟨t⟩ may be transcribed in IPA with a single letter, or with a letter plus diacritics, depending on how precise one wishes to be.
Slashes are used to signal broad or phonemic transcription. Letters or diacritics are added, removed or modified by the International Phonetic Association; as of the most recent change in 2005, there are 107 letters, 52 diacritics and four prosodic marks in the IPA. These are shown in the current IPA chart, posted below in this article and at the website of the IPA. In 1886, a group of French and British language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy, formed what would come to be known from 1897 onwards as the International Phonetic Association, their original alphabet was based on a spelling reform for English known as the Romic alphabet, but in order to make it usable for other languages, the values of the symbols were allowed to vary from language to language. For example, the sound was represented with the letter ⟨c⟩ in English, but with the digraph ⟨ch⟩ in French. However, in 1888, the alphabet was revised so as to be uniform across languages, thus providing the base for all future revisions.
The idea of making the IPA was first suggested by Otto Jespersen in a letter to Paul Passy. It was developed by Alexander John Ellis, Henry Sweet, Daniel Jones, Passy. Since its creation, the IPA has undergone a number of revisions. After revisions and expansions from the 1890s to the 1940s, the IPA remained unchanged until the Kiel Convention in 1989. A minor revision took place in 1993 with the addition of four letters for mid central vowels and the removal of letters for voiceless implosives; the alphabet was last revised in May 2005 with the addition of a letter for a labiodental flap. Apart from the addition and removal of symbols, changes to the IPA have consisted of renaming symbols and categories and in modifying typefaces. Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for speech pathology were created in 1990 and adopted by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association in 1994; the general principle of the IPA is to provide one letter for each distinctive sound, although this practice is not followed if the sound itself is complex.
This means that: It does not use combinations of letters to represent single sounds, the way English does with ⟨sh⟩, ⟨th⟩ and ⟨ng⟩, or single letters to represent multiple sounds the way ⟨x⟩ represents /ks/ or /ɡz/ in English. There are no letters that have context-dependent sound values, as do "hard" and "soft" ⟨c⟩ or ⟨g⟩ in several European languages; the IPA does not have separate letters for two sounds if no known language makes a distinction between them, a property known as "selectiveness". Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters represent consonants and vowels, 31 diacritics are used to modify these, 19 additional signs indicate suprasegmental qualities such as length, tone and intonation; these are organized into a chart. The letters chosen for the IPA are meant to harmonize with the Latin alphabet. For this reason, most letters modifications thereof; some letters are neither: for example, the letter denoting the glottal stop, ⟨ʔ⟩, has the form of a dotless question mark, derives from an apostrophe.
A few letters, such as that of the voiced pharyngeal fricative, ⟨ʕ⟩, were inspired by other writing systems. Despite its preference for harmonizing with the Latin script, the International Phonetic Association has admitted other letters. For example, before 1989, the IPA letters for click consonants were ⟨ʘ⟩, ⟨ʇ⟩, ⟨ʗ⟩, ⟨ʖ⟩, all of which were derived either from existing IPA letters, or from Latin and Greek letters. However, except for ⟨ʘ⟩, none of these letters were used among Khoisanists or Bantuists, as a result they were replaced by the more widespread symbols ⟨ʘ⟩, ⟨ǀ⟩, ⟨ǃ⟩, ⟨ǂ⟩, ⟨ǁ⟩ at the IPA Kiel Convention in 1989. Although the IPA diacritics are featural, there is little systemicity in the letter forms. A retroflex articulation is indicated with a right-swinging tail, as in ⟨ɖ ʂ ɳ⟩, implosion by a top hook, ⟨ɓ ɗ ɠ⟩, but other pseudo-featural elements are due to haphazard derivation and coincidence. For example, all nasal consonants but uvular ⟨ɴ⟩ are based on the form ⟨n⟩: ⟨m ɱ n ɳ ɲ ŋ⟩.
However, the similarity between ⟨m⟩ and ⟨n⟩ is a historical accident. Some of the new letters were ordinary Latin letters tu