An inherent vowel is part of an abugida (or alphasyllabary) script. It is the vowel sound which is used with each unmarked or basic consonant symbol.
There are many abugida scripts, Brahmic scripts and cursive Meroitic script for example, which developed in Nubia (Today in Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan) and in India approximately at the same time before spreading throughout Southern Asia. Many of them are still used today for modern South-Asian languages.
All these scripts use such characters as base graphemes, from which the syllables are built up. Base graphemes having a consonant with an inherent vowel can be usually changed to other graphemes by joining a tone mark or dependent vowel to the grapheme.
Famous quotes containing the words inherent and/or vowel:
“Liberty, as it is conceived by current opinion, has nothing inherent about it; it is a sort of gift or trust bestowed on the individual by the state pending good behavior.”
—Mary McCarthy (19121989)
“Brute animals have the vowel sounds; man only can utter consonants.”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834)