The following is the basic sign inventory of the Ethiopic script as originally used for the Ge'ez language. Each sign is a syllable (consonant plus vowel), except any sign on the sixth column (ə) represents either the consonant plus the middle central vowel /ə/ or no vowel at all (in which case it is used as a pure consonant in a consonant cluster).
In addition to the basic signs, there are four series of derived signs to represent labialized velar consonants. These are velar sounds like /k/, /g/, /q/, and /h/.
These numerals developed from the Greek alphabet, possibly via Coptic.