Re: Unicode for Malayalam Language.

From: Glenn Adams (
Date: Thu Dec 04 1997 - 08:39:34 EST

At 01:33 PM 11/29/97 +0000, Cibu C.J. wrote:
>On Nov 21, 9:33pm, Glenn Adams wrote:
>> Subject: Re: Unicode for Malayalam Language.
>> I have reviewed your comments on the encoding of Malayalam script in Unicode
>> and ISO/IEC 10646 in:
>> I do not believe any action is required. In particular,
>> The above ISCII encoding of these Malayalam forms is prescribed by
>> IS 13194:1991 (ISCII 91) on page 19, under "Inscript Overlay for
>> Malayalam". The Unicode encoding of half forms and conjunct consonants
> How can I get a copy of ISCII 91 ? Is it available on the net ?

It is not online as far as I know. You can write to Bureau of Indian Standards,
Manak Bhavan, 9 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 110002. The official name
is IS 13194:1991 Indian Script Code for Information Interchange.

> I feel, RRA(h) (ta - last character I pointed out as missing) can not
> be considered as a conjuct of RA because its pronunciation
> is totally different. Only form-wise, it looks like one big RA over
> small RA.

I made a slight error in my notation in the previous message. I should have
denoted this conjunct form as "RR.RRA" to remain consistent with the notation
employed in the Unicode standard which discusses conjunct forms.

It is not a conjunct of RA but one of RRA. RRA is the Unicode name given to the
retracted (alveolar) [r] of Malayalam, which, presently tends towards a dental [t].
The geminated form (represented by the RR.RRA conjunct) would likely emphasize
this shift towards dental [t] even more. But historically, it is a retracted [r].

> More over, among the symbols, one particular symbol called
> "prasLe'sham" whose glyph is almost like an open integral sign and
> pronunciation like 'sau' is not included. This symbol is more often
> used than the symbol for half (1/2) or vocalic L. But I have not
> mentioned about this in my earlier comments.

I am not familiar with this symbol. I'd appreciate additional information
about it such as a discussion of the symbol in a text about Malayalam orthography
along with printed and written examples. If you have this, please fax it to
me at 617-621-9582.

Glenn Adams

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