Visayan alphabet

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Languages Visayan languages
Time period
c. 1300–present
Parent systems
Sister systems
Old Sundanese

The Visayan script or Badlit script (Sulat-Bisaya/Suwat Bisaya) is an ancient pre‑Hispanic writing system, a member of the Brahmic family and closely related to other writing systems in southeast Asia. Badlit is an abugida or an alphasyllabary writing system, like most writing system used in southeast Asia, where any consonant is pronounced with a default vowel and a diacritical mark is used to express other vowels. It is written from left to right and requires no spaces between words; space is used only after end of sentence or punctuation, although in modern writing there can be space after each word to enhance readability.


Among the earliest literature on the orthography of Visayan languages were those of Jesuit priest Ezguerra with his Arte de la lengua Bisaya in 1747[1] and of Mentrida with his Arte de la lengua Bisaya, Iliguaina de la isla de Panay in 1818 which primarily discussed the grammatical features.[2] Based on the differing sources spanning centuries, the documented syllabaries also differed in form.

Suwat Bisaya has 20 graphemes of which there are fifteen consonants: Ba, Ka, Da, Ga, Ha, La, Ma, Na, Nga, Pa, Ra, Sa, Ta, Wa and Ya. There are five vowels: A, E, I, O, U[3]


  1. ^ P. Domingo Ezguerra (1601–1670) (1747) [c. 1663]. Arte de la lengua bisaya de la provincia de Leyte. apendice por el P. Constantino Bayle. Imp. de la Compañia de Jesus. 
  2. ^ Trinidad Hermenegildo Pardo de Tavera (1884). Contribucion para el estudio de los antiguos alfabetos Filipinos. Losana. 
  3. ^ "Introduction of Badlit script". Akopito. Retrieved 31 March 2013.