What Is Khmer Script?


Quick Answer

The Khmer script is the alphabet used for the written Khmer language, which is the official language of Cambodia. It is also used for written Pali, an extinct language in which many early Buddhist scriptures were written.

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Full Answer

The Khmer script is an "abugida," or alphasyllabary script, meaning vowels do not have equal status with consonants. Rather, consonant-vowel sequences are units that are based on a consonant while the vowel notation is secondary.

The script features a total of 35 consonant symbols that are modified by the dependent vowels. The Khmer alphabet dates back to 611 A.D., and the oldest known inscription was found in the southwest Cambodian province of Ta Keo.

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