Assamese or Asamiya is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language used mainly in the state of Assam. It is the official language of Assam. The easternmost of Indo-European languages; it is spoken by over 13 million native speakers. It is also spoken in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeast Indian states. Nagamese, an Assamese-based Creole language is widely used in Nagaland and parts of Assam. Small pockets of Assamese speakers can be found in Bhutan and Bangladesh. There is a growing and strong body of literature in this language. The first characteristics of this language are seen in the Charyapadas composed in the between the eighth and twelfth centuries. Assamese is written from left to right and top to bottom, in the same manner as English. A large number of ligatures are possible since potentially all the consonants can combine with one another. Vowels can either be independent or dependent upon a consonant or a consonant cluster. The English word "Assamese" is built on the same principle as "Vietnamese", "Japanese" etc. It is based on the name "Assam" by which the tract consisting of the Brahmaputra Valley was known. The Assamese phonemic inventory consists of eight vowels, ten diphthongs, and twenty-one consonants. Assamese uses the Assamese script, a variant that traces its descent from the Gupta script. It very closely resembles the Mithilakshar script of the Maithili language, as well as to the Bengali script.