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Bassa alphabet

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Title: Bassa alphabet  
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Subject: Writing systems of Africa, Unicode block, List of writing systems, Bagam script, Yugtun script
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Bassa alphabet

Bassa vah
ISO 15924 Bass, 259
Direction Left-to-right
Unicode alias
Bassa Vah
U+16AD0 – U+16AFF
The Bassa vah alphabet.

The Bassa script, known as Bassa vah or simply vah ('throwing a sign' in Bassa) was an alphabet designed by, or with the help of, Liberian missionaries in the 1920s. It is not clear what connection it may have had with neighboring scripts, or how much it was actually used, but type was cast for it, and an association for its promotion was formed in Liberia in 1959. It is not used and has been classified as a failed script.[1]

Vah is a true alphabet, with 23 consonant letters, 7 vowel letters, and 5 tone diacritics, which are placed inside the vowels.


The Bassa alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.

The Unicode block for the Bassa alphabet is U+16AD0–U+16AFF:

Bassa Vah[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1.^ As of Unicode version 7.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also


  • Coulmas (1999) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems
  1. ^ Unseth, Peter. 2011. Invention of Scripts in West Africa for Ethnic Revitalization. In The Success-Failure Continuum in Language and Ethnic Identity Efforts, ed. by Joshua A. Fishman and Ofelia García, pp. 23-32. New York: Oxford University Press.

External links

  • Unicode Bassa font support from XenoType Technologies
  • Proposal for encoding the Bassa Vah script
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