Re: Unicode for Malayalam Language.

From: Martin J. Dürst (
Date: Wed Oct 29 1997 - 12:55:57 EST

On Sun, 26 Oct 1997, Jeroen Hellingman wrote:

> ----- Begin Included Message -----
> I have put my comments and visuals(.gif files) of the missing characters
> (as I think) in an .html file -
> Can you have a look at them ?
> ----- End Included Message -----
> 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.

Yes, it is clearly necessary to define in the standard how these
things get solved. Because the Devanagari part has explicit
codepoints for characters with nukta, it might also be considered
to give these things their own codepoints. But looking at their
shapes, they really just seem to be independent letters with virama,
for which <letter><virama><ZWNJ> looks best. The exception is the
first letter on the page, where the shape seems completely unrelated
to the base LL letter. What happened here?

As for the names (visarga or visargam?), I guess they are unified
across all the Indic scripts, and may follow Hindi or Sanskrit

Regards, Martin.

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