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Although the word Gurmukhī has been commonly translated as "from the Mouth of the Guru," the term used for the Punjabi script has somewhat different connotations.Modern Gurmukhī has thirty-eight consonants (akhar), 10 vowel symbols (lāga mātrā), two symbols for nasal sounds (pair bindi and ṭippī), and one symbol which duplicates the sound of any consonant (addak).In addition, four conjuncts are used: three subjoined forms of the consonants Rara, Haha and Vava, and one half-form of Yayya.Pritam Singh (1992) has also traced the origins of Gurmukhī to the Siddha Matrika.
"Siddha Matrika" along with its sister Takri alphabet has its origins in the Śāradā script of Kashmir.
Another view is that as the Gurmukhs, in accordance with the Sikh belief, used to meditate on the letters ਵ, ਹ, ਗ, ਰ which jointly form ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ or Praise of Guru in Sikhism, these letters were called Gurmukhī, or "of the Gurmukhs".