Marathi (मराठी) is the official language of Maharashtra state of India and co-official language in the union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It is one of the 23 official languages of India. There were 73 million speakers in 2001. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India. It is the 19th most spoken language in the world. Written Marathi first appeared during the 11th century in the form of inscriptions on stones and copper plates. The Marathi Devanagari alphabet are similar to the Hindi Devanagari alphabet. Marathi is usually written in the Devanagari script, an abugida consisting of 36 consonant letters and 16 initial-vowel letters. Marathi grammar shares similarities with other modern Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, etc.