The Burmese or Myanmar script developed from the Mon script, which was adapted from a southern Indian script during the 8th century. The earliest known inscriptions in the Burmese script date from the 11th century.
Burmese is a tonal language with three main tones (high, low and creaky) and two other tones (stopped and reduced). The tones are indicated in writing using diacritics or special letters.
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet - each letter has an inherent vowel [a]. Other vowels sounds are indicated using separate letters or diacritics which appear above, below, in front of, after or around the consonant.
The rounded appearance of letters is a result of the use of palm leaves as the traditional writing material. Straight lines would have torn the leaves. The Burmese name for the script is ca-lonh 'round script'.
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