Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 71 million people mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra and neighbouring states. Marathi is also spoken in Israel and Mauritius. Marathi is thought to be a descendent of Maharashtri, one of the Prakrit languages which developed from Sanskrit. Marathi first appeared in writing during the 11th century in the form of inscriptions on stones and copper plates. From the 13th century until the mid 20th century, it was written with the Modi alphabet. Since 1950 it has been written with the Devanagari alphabet.