Khmer is a Unicode block containing characters for writing the Khmer, or Cambodian, language.
The Khmer alphabet or Khmer script (IPA: ʔaʔsɑː kʰmaːe) is an abugida (alphasyllabary) script used to write the Khmer language (the official language of Cambodia). It is also used to write Pali in the Buddhist liturgy of Cambodia and Thailand. It was adapted from the Pallava script, a variant of the Grantha alphabet descended from the Brahmi script, which was used in southern India and South East Asia during the 5th and 6th centuries AD. The oldest dated inscription in Khmer was found at Angkor Borei District in Takéo Province south of Phnom Penh and dates from 611. The modern Khmer script differs somewhat from precedent forms seen on the inscriptions of the ruins of Angkor. The Thai and Lao scripts are descended from an older form of the Khmer script. Ancient Khmer script engraved on stone. Khmer is written from left to right. Words within the same sentence or phrase are generally run together with no spaces between them. Consonant clusters within a word are «stacked», with the second (and occasionally third) consonant being written in reduced form under the main consonant. Originally there were 35 consonant characters, but modern Khmer uses only 33. Each such character in fact represents a consonant sound together with an inherent vowel – either â or ô. There are some independent vowel characters, but vowel sounds are more commonly represented as dependent vowels – additional marks accompanying a consonant character, and indicating what vowel sound is to be pronounced after that consonant (or consonant cluster). Most dependent vowels have two different pronunciations, depending in most cases on the inherent vowel of the consonant to which they are added. In some positions, a consonant written with no dependent vowel is taken to be followed by the sound of its inherent vowel. There are also a number of diacritics used to indicate further modifications in pronunciation. The script also includes its own numerals and punctuation marks.