Bassa Vah
𖫔𖫧𖫱𖫒𖫨𖫴 𖫣𖫧𖫱
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ISO 15924
ISO 15924Bass (259), ​Bassa Vah
Unicode alias
Bassa Vah
U+16AD0 – U+16AFF[1]
The Bassa vah alphabet.
The Bassa vah alphabet.

Bassa Vah, also known as simply vah ('throwing a sign' in Bassa) is an alphabetic script for writing the Bassa language of Liberia.[citation needed] It was invented by Dr. Thomas Flo Lewis.[citation needed] Type was cast for it, and an association for its promotion was formed in Liberia in 1959.[citation needed] It is not used contemporarily and has been classified as a failed script.[2]

Vah is a true alphabet, with 23 consonant letters, 7 vowel letters, and 5 tone diacritics, which are placed inside the vowels. It also has its own marks for commas and periods.[citation needed]


The Bassa Vah script is written from left to right. A fullstop/period is represented with 𖫵.


This article or section should specify the language of its non-English content, using ((lang)), ((transliteration)) for transliterated languages, and ((IPA)) for phonetic transcriptions, with an appropriate ISO 639 code. Wikipedia's multilingual support templates may also be used. See why. (May 2022)
IPA Latin Bassa Vah IPA Latin Bassa Vah IPA Latin Bassa Vah
[a] A/a 𖫧 [g] G/g 𖫖 [ɔ] Ɔ/ɔ 𖫨
[b] B/b 𖫢 [ɡ͡b] Gb/gb 𖫝 [o] O/o 𖫩
[ɓ]/[mᵇ] Ɓ/ɓ 𖫔 [ŋ͡m] Gm/gm 𖫔 [p] P/p 𖫥
[c] C/c 𖫟 [h] H/h 𖫤 [s] S/s 𖫒
[d] D/d 𖫗 [hʷ] Hw/hw 𖫠 [t] T/t 𖫡
[ɖ]/[ɺ] Đ/ɖ 𖫦 [i] I/i 𖫭 [u] U/u 𖫪
[dʲ]/[ɲ] Dy/dy 𖫕 [ɟ] J/j 𖫙 [v] V/v 𖫣
[e] E/e 𖫫 [k] K/k 𖫑 [w] W/w 𖫛
[ɛ] Ɛ/ɛ 𖫬 [k͡p] Kp/kp 𖫘 [xʷ]/[ħʷ] Xw/xw 𖫚
[f] F/f 𖫓 [n] N/n 𖫐 [z] Z/z 𖫜


Bassa Vah uses 5 diacritical marks to denote tonality of its vowels. It distinguishes five tones: high, low, mid, mid-rising, and falling.

IPA Latin with a Vah with 𖫧 Vah diacritic
˦ á 𖫧𖫰 𖫰◌
˨ à 𖫧𖫱 𖫱◌
˧ a 𖫧𖫲 𖫲◌
˨˧ ă 𖫧𖫳 𖫳◌
˥˩ â 𖫧𖫴 𖫴◌


Main article: Bassa Vah (Unicode block)

The Bassa Vah 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
U+16ADx 𖫐 𖫑 𖫒 𖫓 𖫔 𖫕 𖫖 𖫗 𖫘 𖫙 𖫚 𖫛 𖫜 𖫝 𖫞 𖫟
U+16AEx 𖫠 𖫡 𖫢 𖫣 𖫤 𖫥 𖫦 𖫧 𖫨 𖫩 𖫪 𖫫 𖫬 𖫭
U+16AFx 𖫰 𖫱 𖫲 𖫳 𖫴 𖫵
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. ^ Final accepted Unicode proposalFinal Accepted Script Proposal
  2. ^ 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.