Hindi text is written in a script called Devanagari, which means the writing of the gods. Hindi is a phonetic language, and is written as a series of syllables. Each syllable is built up of alphabetic pieces (the Devanagari characters) of three types: consonant letters, independent vowels, and dependent vowel signs. The syllable itself consists of a consonant and vowel core, with an optional preceding consonant. Unlike English, which starts from a baseline, Devanagari characters hang from a horizontal line (called the head stroke) written at the top of the characters. These characters can combine or change shape depending on their context. Like Hebrew, Hindi text makes no distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters.