> I had a look at the Malayalam characters there. The 'cillu' letters
> are treated by ISCII as the full letters combined (ligated) with the
> so called soft-halant (halant+nukta). As the full letters with the halant
> also occur, there needs to be a way to distinguish these from
> the normal (unligated) forms, typed in ISCII with the normal halant.
> In my comments on Unicode, under the heading Malayalam, I proposed
> a syntax for this, but there is no need to introduce new characters
> in the standard, except for the ones I mention in my comment. The
> syntax, of course, needs to be included in the standard.
> COMMENTS ON MALAYALAM
> cillu letters
Actualy they are pronounced as "chill" letters.
> Malayalam uses ligatures of the virama with some characters (so called cillu
> letters). These should be distinquished from the same letters with a virama.
> I suggest using <character><virama><zwj> to produce these letters, and
> <character><virama> for the explicit virama. This is in parallel with the
> ISCII standard and Unicode conventions. ISCII uses Soft halant for this
> as well as for forcing half-consonants in several North Indian scripts.
Since these 'cillu' letters are used with quite high frequency
a three character combination for them may be clumsy.
Then, another option other than considering them as seperate
characters would be using <character><zwj> to produce them.
(Here, I have omitted <virama>. But I am not quite sure for what
the <zwj> stands for. Anyway I assume it is just a new symbol.)
But this forces us to invent a new symbol in the Malayalam language or
a character with no glyph assosiated with it.
More over, 'Virama' is not the correct name for the symbol mentioned.
'Viramam' means full stop. The actual name is 'samvruthokaaram'.
> (found some more occurances of this in traditional script: .l+k, .l+kk.)
Could you give me more reference/explanation on this ?
> traditional versus reformed script
> The description in the Unicode standard is based on traditional script.
> Since 1974 reformed script has been in use.
> It should be noted that in reformed Malayalam script, VOWEL SIGN U,
> VOWEL SIGN UU, and VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC R are no longer non-spacing marks,
> and that VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC RR, and VOCALIC RR, VOCALIC L, VOCALIC LL
> have been abolished.
> Traditional Malayalam script allows placing a virama on a cluster already
> carrying the u matra, to notify a short u sound.
> (Malayalam has also been written in Arabic script, using some extra letters,
> I will try to find out details)
> ADDITIONAL CHARACTERS IN MALAYALAM
> @ dependent vowel signs
> 0D44 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC RR
> The dependent vowel signs for VOCALIC L and VOCALIC LL appear to be
> the same glyphs subscribed, but I haven't found a good reference on
> this yet. In any case they are a curiosity. (Reference found: Gundert)
Even though Gundert is the oldest one, 'Sabdathaaravali' by
Sreekandeswaram is considered to be the comprehensive one.
Unfortunately, it is a Malayalam-Malayalam dictionary.
Some word which use VOCALIC RR,VOCALIC L, and VOCALIC LL are
available in it. As an example: '<VOCALIC LL>tham' means spider.
But for practical purposes these vowels and their signs are
> MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC L
> MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC LL
> Also found a single reference to a sign for ONE HALF [Frohnmeyer]. Possibly
> something like the Bengali currency numerators.
> Malayalam numerals are hardly ever used nowadays.
I completely agree with this.
> In several Malayalam fonts, I have come across a glyph which looks
> like a na with a curl right below, much like an old style nu, but
> the curl extends out of the character on the right. Can anybody tell
> me what it is. My closest ASCII representation is:
> /--\ /--\
> | | |
> | | /-+--
> \ | \_|
This glyph is still in use. Sematicaly it means 'th' in, say, 17th.
Its pronunciation is <na><virama><u>. This symbol also have to
be given proper place in the standard.
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