Juan Maria Schuver
Juan Maria Schuver was a Dutch explorer, a native of Amsterdam. Son of a wealthy merchant, as a young man Schuver travelled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa. At the age of 21 he worked as a private correspondent for the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Handelsblad, covering events that took place in the Third Carlist War in Spain. Afterwards he travelled to the Balkans and reported for the Handelsblad involving action from the Russo-Turkish War. In 1879 his father died and Schuver inherited a fortune. At this time he made plans to pursue a lifelong dream, to undertake a scientific expedition to the interior of Africa, he joined the Royal Geographical Society of London and took classes on various subjects in order to prepare for his upcoming journey. In March 1881, he reached Khartoum with a small entourage, subsequently spent the better part of the next two-plus years performing explorations of southeastern Sudan the eastern watershed of the White Nile and the hill regions surrounding the upper Blue Nile.
In southern Sudan, he had a keen interest in the political and social aspects of the area, made important historical and ethnographic observations concerning the various tribes he encountered. His detailed descriptions of the Sudanese-Ethiopian border region in the early 1880s constitute an valuable and exciting new contribution to the travel literature of late nineteenth-century Africa. In August 1883, he was fatally wounded by a spear during a skirmish with Dinka tribesmen in Tek, a village, a two-day journey from the garrison at Meshra-el-Rek. Schuver maintained extensive notebooks during the expedition, items he collected during his stay in Sudan are now housed at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. Juan Maria Schuvers Travels in North East Africa, 1880-83. Hakluyt Society, 1996. Schuver in Africa - RMV, Biography
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
Geʽez is an ancient South Semitic language of the Ethiopic branch. The language originates from the region encompassing southern Eritrea and northern Ethiopia regions in the Horn of Africa. Today, Geʽez is used only as the main language of liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo churches, the Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholic churches, the Beta Israel Jewish community. However, in Ethiopia, Amharic or other local languages, in Eritrea and Ethiopia's Tigray Region, Tigrinya may be used for sermons. Amharic, Tigrinya and Tigre are related to Geʽez; the closest living languages to Geʽez are Tigre and Tigrinya with lexical similarity at 71% and 68%, respectively. Some linguists do not believe that Geʽez constitutes a common ancestor of modern Ethiosemitic languages, but that Geʽez became a separate language early on from another hypothetical unattested language, which can be seen as an extinct sister language of Amharic and Tigrinya; the foremost Ethiopian experts such as Amsalu Aklilu point to the vast proportion of inherited nouns that are unchanged, spelled identically in both Geʽez and Amharic.
A /æ/ < Proto-Semitic *a. Geʽez is transliterated according to the following system: Because Geʽez is no longer a spoken language, the pronunciation of some consonants is not certain. Gragg writes "The consonants corresponding to the graphemes ś and ḍ have merged with ሰ and ጸ in the phonological system represented by the traditional pronunciation—and indeed in all modern Ethiopian Semitic.... There is, however, no evidence either in the tradition or in Ethiopian Semitic what value these consonants may have had in Geʽez." A similar problem is found for the consonant transliterated ḫ. Gragg notes that it corresponds in etymology to velar or uvular fricatives in other Semitic languages, but it was pronounced the same as ḥ in the traditional pronunciation. Though the use of a different letter shows that it must have had some other pronunciation, what that pronunciation was is not certain; the chart below lists /ɬ/ and /ɬʼ/ as possible values for ś and ḍ respectively. It lists /χ/ as a possible value for ḫ.
These values are tentative, but based on the reconstructed Proto-Semitic consonants that they are descended from. In the chart below, IPA values are shown; when transcription is different from the IPA, the character is shown in angular brackets. Question marks follow phonemes. In Geʽez, emphatic consonants are phonetically ejectives; as is the case with Arabic, emphatic velars may be phonetically uvular. Geʽez consonants have a triple opposition between voiceless and ejective obstruents; the Proto-Semitic "emphasis" in Geʽez has been generalized to include emphatic p̣. Geʽez has phonologized labiovelars, descending from Proto-Semitic biphonemes. Geʽez ś ሠ Sawt is reconstructed. Like Arabic, Geʽez merged Proto-Semitic š and s in ሰ. Apart from this, Geʽez phonology is comparably conservative. Geʽez distinguishes two genders and feminine, which in certain words is marked with the suffix -t; these are less distinguished than in other Semitic languages, in that many nouns not denoting persons can be used in either gender: in translated Christian texts there is a tendency for nouns to follow the gender of the noun with a corresponding meaning in Greek.
There are two numbers and plural. The plural can be constructed either by suffixing - by internal plural. Plural using suffix: ʿāmat – ʿāmatāt'year', māy – māyāt'water'. Internal plural: bet – ʾābyāt'house, houses'. Nouns have two cases, the nominative, not marked and the accusative, marked with final -a. Internal plurals follow certain patterns. Triconsonantal nouns follow one of the following patterns. Quadriconsonantal and some triconsonantal nouns follow the following pattern. Triconsonantal nouns that take this pattern must have at least one long vowel Noun phrases have the following overall order: noun - Adjectives and determiners agree with the noun in gender and number: Relative clauses are introduced by a pronoun which agrees in gender and number with the preceding noun: As in many Semitic languages, possession by a noun phrase is shown through the construct state. In Geʽez, this is formed by suffixing /-a/ to the possessed noun, followed by the possessor, as in the following examples: Possession by a pronoun is indicated by a suffix on the possessed noun, as seen in the following table: The following examples show a few nouns with pronominal possessors: Another common way of indicating possession by a noun phrase combines the pronominal suffix on a noun with the possessor preceded by the preposition /la=/'to, for' (Lambdin
Amhara Region is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Known as "Region 3", its capital is Bahir Dar. Ethiopia's largest inland body of water, Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile river, is located within Amhara; the region contains the Semien Mountains National Park, which includes Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. Amhara is bordered by the state of Sudan to the west and northwest, in other directions by other regions of Ethiopia: Tigray to the north, Afar to the east, Benishangul-Gumuz to the west and southwest, Oromia to the south; the government of Amhara is composed of the executive branch, led by the President. During the Ethiopian Empire, Amhara included several provinces, most of which were ruled by native Ras or Negus; the Amhara Region incorporated most of the former provinces of Begemder, Angot, Bete Amhara and Shewa. Based on the 2007 census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia, the Amhara Region has a population of 17,221,976.
8,641,580 were 8,580,396 women. With an estimated area of 154,708.96 km2, this region has an estimated density of 108.2 people per square kilometer. For the entire Region 3, 983,768 households were counted, which results in an average for the Region of 4.3 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 3.3 and rural households 4.5 people. The projected population as of 2017 was 21,134,988. In the previous census, conducted in 1994, the region's population was reported to be 13,834,297 of whom 6,947,546 were men and 6,886,751 women. According to the CSA, as of 2004, 28% of the total population had access to safe drinking water, of whom 19.89% were rural inhabitants and 91.8% were urban. Values for other reported common indicators of the standard of living for Amhara as of 2005 include the following: 17.5% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile. At 91.47% of the local population, the region is predominantly inhabited by people from the Semitic-speaking Amhara ethnic group.
Most other residents hail from other Afro-Asiatic language communities, including the Agaw/Awi, Agaw/Kamyr and Argobba. The predominant religion of the Amhara for centuries has been Christianity, with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church playing a central role in the culture of the country. According to the 2007 census, 82.5% of the population of the Amhara Region were Ethiopian Orthodox. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church maintains close links with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Easter and Epiphany are the most important celebrations, marked with services and dancing. There are many feast days throughout the year, when only vegetables or fish may be eaten. Marriages are arranged, with men marrying in their late teens or early twenties. Traditionally, girls were married as young as 14, but in the 20th century, the minimum age was raised to 18, this was enforced by the Imperial government. After a church wedding, divorce is frowned upon; each family hosts a separate wedding feast after the wedding.
Upon childbirth, a priest will visit the family to bless the infant. The mother and child remain in the house for 40 days after birth for physical and emotional strength; the infant will be taken to the church for baptism at 80 days. The Amhara Highlands receive 80% of the total rainfall of Ethiopia and is the most fertile and hospitable regions of Ethiopia; the Amhara Region is the location of the source of the Blue Nile, at Bahir Dar. The flow of the Blue Nile reaches maximum volume in the rainy season when it supplies about two-thirds of the water of the Nile proper; the Blue Nile, along with the Atbara River to the north, which flows out of the Ethiopian Highlands, caused the annual Nile floods that contributed to the fertility of the Nile Valley. This supported the rise of Egyptian mythology. With the completion in 1970 of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, the Nile floods ended. Lake Tana has a number of islands. According to Manoel de Almeida, there were 21 islands, seven to eight of which had monasteries on them "formerly large, but now much diminished."
When James Bruce visited the area in the 18th century, he noted that the locals counted 45 inhabited islands, but wrote he believed that "the number may be about eleven." A mid-twentieth century account identified 37 islands, of which 19 were said to have or have had monasteries or churches on them. The lake islands were the home of ancient Ethiopian emperors. Treasures of the Ethiopian Church are kept in the isolated island monasteries; the body of Yekuno Amlak is interred in the monastery of St. Stephen on Daga Island. Other i
Geʽez known as Ethiopic, is a script used as an abugida for several languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia. It originated as an abjad and was first used to write Geʽez, now the liturgical language of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Beta Israel, the Jewish community in Ethiopia. In Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called fidäl, meaning "script" or "alphabet"; the Geʽez script has been adapted to write other Semitic, languages Amharic in Ethiopia, Tigrinya in both Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is used for Sebatbeit, Meʼen, most other languages of Ethiopia. In Eritrea it is used for Tigre, it has traditionally been used for Blin, a Cushitic language. Tigre, spoken in western and northern Eritrea, is considered to resemble Geʽez more than do the other derivative languages; some other languages in the Horn of Africa, such as Oromo, used to be written using Geʽez, but have migrated to Latin-based orthographies. For the representation of sounds, this article uses a system, common among linguists who work on Ethiopian Semitic languages.
This differs somewhat from the conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet. See the articles on the individual languages for information on the pronunciation; the earliest inscriptions of Semitic languages in Eritrea and Ethiopia date to the 9th century BC in Epigraphic South Arabian, an abjad shared with contemporary kingdoms in South Arabia. After the 7th and 6th centuries BC, variants of the script arose, evolving in the direction of the Geʽez abugida; this evolution can be seen most in evidence from inscriptions in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and the former province of Akkele Guzay in Eritrea. By the first centuries AD, what is called "Old Ethiopic" or the "Old Geʽez alphabet" arose, an abjad written left-to-right with letters identical to the first-order forms of the modern vocalized alphabet. There were minor differences such as the letter "g" facing to the right, instead of to the left as in vocalized Geʽez, a shorter left leg of "l", as in ESA, instead of equally-long legs in vocalized Geʽez.
Vocalization of Geʽez occurred in the 4th century, though the first vocalized texts known are inscriptions by Ezana, vocalized letters predate him by some years, as an individual vocalized letter exists in a coin of his predecessor Wazeba. Linguist Roger Schneider has pointed out anomalies in the known inscriptions of Ezana that imply that he was consciously employing an archaic style during his reign, indicating that vocalization could have occurred much earlier; as a result, some believe that the vocalization may have been adopted to preserve the pronunciation of Geʽez texts due to the moribund or extinct status of Geʽez, that, by that time, the common language of the people were later Ethio-Semitic languages. At least one of Wazeba's coins from the late 3rd or early 4th century contains a vocalized letter, some 30 or so years before Ezana. Kobishchanov and others have suggested possible influence from the Brahmic family of alphabets in vocalization, as they are abugidas, Aksum was an important part of major trade routes involving India and the Greco-Roman world throughout the common era of antiquity.
According to the beliefs of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the original consonantal form of the Geʽez fidel was divinely revealed to Henos "as an instrument for codifying the laws", the present system of vocalisation is attributed to a team of Aksumite scholars led by Frumentius, the same missionary said to have converted the king Ezana to Christianity in the 4th century AD. It has been argued that the vowel marking pattern of the script reflects a South Asian system, such as would have been known by Frumentius. A separate tradition, recorded by Aleqa Taye, holds that the Geʽez consonantal alphabet was first adapted by Zegdur, a legendary king of the Ag'azyan Sabaean dynasty held to have ruled in Ethiopia c. 1300 BC. Geʽez has 26 consonantal letters. Compared to the inventory of 29 consonants in the South Arabian alphabet, continuants are missing of ġ, ẓ, South Arabian s3, as well as z and ṯ, these last two absences reflecting the collapse of interdental with alveolar fricatives.
On the other hand, emphatic P̣ait ጰ, a Geʽez innovation, is a modification of Ṣädai ጸ, while Pesa ፐ is based on Tawe ተ. Thus, there are 24 correspondences of Geʽez and the South Arabian alphabet: Many of the letter names are cognate with those of Phoenician, may thus be assumed for Proto-Sinaitic. Two alphabets were used to write the Geʽez language, an abjad and an abugida; the abjad, used until c. 330 AD, had 26 consonantal letters: h, l, ḥ, m, ś, r, s, ḳ, b, t, ḫ, n, ʾ, k, w, ʿ, z, y, d, g, ṭ, p̣, ṣ, ṣ́, f, p Vowels were not indicated. Modern Geʽez is written from left to right; the Geʽez abugida developed under the influence of Christian scripture by adding obligatory vocalic diacritics to the consonantal letters. The diacritics for the vowels, u, i, a, e, ə, o, were fused with the consonants in a recognizable but irregular way, so that the system is laid out as a syllabary; the original form of the consonant was used when the vowel was the so-called inherent vowel. The resulting forms are shown below in their traditional order.
For some vowels, there is an eighth form for the diphthong -wa or -oa
The Gumuz are an ethnic group speaking a Nilo-Saharan language inhabiting the Benishangul-Gumuz Region and the Qwara woreda in western Ethiopia, as well as the Fazogli region in Sudan. They speak the Gumuz language; the Gumuz number around 200,000 individuals. The Gumuz have traditionally been grouped with other Nilotic peoples living along the Sudanese-Ethiopian border under the collective name Shanqella; as "Shanquella", they are mentioned by Scottish explorer James Bruce in his Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, published in 1790. He notes that they hunted with a custom that survives today. Most Gumuz members live in a bush-savanna lowland environment. According to their traditions, in earlier times they inhabited the western parts of the province of Gojjam, but were progressively banished to the inhospitable area of the Blue Nile and its tributaries by their more powerful Afroasiatic-speaking neighbors, the Amhara and Agaw, who enslaved them. Slavery did not disappear in Ethiopia until the 1940s.
Descendants of Gumuz people taken as slaves to the area just south of Welkite were found to still be speaking the language in 1984. The Gumuz speak the Gumuz language, it is subdivided in several dialects. As of 2007, there were around 159,418 Gumuz in Ethiopia. Around 67,000 Gumuz lived in Sudan; the Gumuz practice shifting cultivation and their staple food is sorghum. Cereal crops are kept in granaries decorated with clay lumps imitating female breasts. Sorghum is used for cooking brewing beer. All the cooking and brewing is carried out in earthen pots; the Gumuz hunt wild animals, such as duikers and warthogs, gather honey, wild fruits and seeds. Those living near the Sudanese borderland converted to Islam and a few are Christians, but most Gumuz still maintain traditional religious practices. Spirits are called mus'a and are thought to dwell in houses, fields and mountains, they have ritual specialists called gafea. All Gumuz adorned their bodies with scarifications, but this custom is disappearing through government pressure and education.
All Gumuz are organized in clans. Feuds between clans are common and they are solved by means of an institution of conflict resolution, called mangema or michu depending on the region; as among the Sudanese Uduk, marriage is through sister exchange. Abbute, Wolde-Selassie. 2004. Gumuz and Highland resettlers. Differing strategies of livelihood and ethnic relations in Metekel, Northwestern Ethiopia. Münster: Lit. Ahland, Colleen Anne. 2004. Linguistic variation within Gumuz: a study of the relationship between historical change and intelligibility. M. A. thesis. University of Texas at Arlington. Ahmad, Abdussamad H. 1995. The Gumuz of the Lowlands of Western Gojjam: The frontier in History 1900-1935. Africa 50: 53-67. Ahmad, Abdussamad H. 1999. Trading in slaves in Bela-Shangul and Gumuz, Ethiopia: border enclaves in history, 1897-1938. Journal of African History 40: 433-446. Bender, M. Lionel. 1979. Gumuz: a sketch of grammar and lexicon. Afrika und Übersee 62: 38-69. Bender, M. Lionel. 1994. Comparative Komuz grammar.
Afrika und Übersee 77: 31-54. Grottanelli, Vinigi, L. 1948. I Preniloti: un’arcaica provincia culturale in Africa. Annali Lateranensi 12: 280-326. Haberland, Eike. 1953. Über einen unbekannten Gunza-stamm in Wallegga. Rassegna di Studi Etiopici 12: 139-148. James, Wendy. 1975. Sister exchange marriage. Scientific American 233: 84-94. James, Wendy. 1980. “From aboriginal to frontier society in western Ethiopia. In Working papers on society and history in Imperial Ethiopia: The southern periphery from 1880 to 1974, edited by Donald L. Donham and Wendy James. Cambridge: African Studies Center, Cambridge University Press. James, Wendy. 1986. “Lifelines: exchange marriage among the Gumuz”. In The southern marches of Imperial Ethiopia. Essays in history and social anthropology, edited by D. L. Donham and W. James. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 119-147. Klausberger, Friedrich. 1975. Bashanga, das Strafrecht der Baga-Gumuz. Ethnologische Zeitschrift 1: 109-126. Pankhurst, Richard. 1977. The history of Bareya and other Ethiopian slaves from the borderlands of the Sudan.
Sudan Notes and Records 58: 1-43. Simmoons, Frederick. 1958. The agricultural implements and cutting tools of Begemder and Semyen, Ethiopia. South West Journal of Anthropology 14: 386-406. Unseth, Peter. 1985. Gumuz: a dialect survey report. Journal of Ethiopian Studies 18: 91-114. Unseth, Peter. 1989. Selected aspects of Gumuz phonology. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, 1984: 617-32. Uzar, Henning. 1993. “Studies in Gumuz: Sese phonology and TMA system”. In Topics in Nilo-Saharan linguistics, edited by M. L. Bender. Hamburg: Helmut Buske: 347-383. Wallmark, Peter. 1981. “The Bega of Wellega: Agriculture and subsistence”. In Peoples and cultures of the Ethio-Sudan borderlands, edited by M. L. Bender. East Lansing: Michigan State University, African Studies Centre: 79-116. Zanni, Leone. 1939-40. La Tribù dei Gumus. Note Etnografiche. La Nigrizia. Verona
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