Re: Eyelash Ra/Variant Mark?

From: John Clews (
Date: Wed May 27 1998 - 06:52:51 EDT

What is actually wrong with the UTC and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 actually
proposing to add a separate character for "eyelash ra"? Could
somebody explain why that is not a satisfactory solution?

I look forward to seeing any explanations

Best wishes

John Clews

In message <> (Jeroen Hellingman) writes:
> Regarding the Marathi eyelash ra
> > Ive read the Unicode document at pages mentioned in the msg. below.
> > On Tue, 26 May 1998, James E. Agenbroad wrote:
> > > Could a variant mark (cf. recent minutes) be used to invoke the eyelash RA
> > > and thus resolve the current 'double duty' usage of ZWJ in Unicode 2.0: 1.
> > > at figure 6-15 (page 6-37) for independent half forms, and, 2. at R5 (page
> > > 6-39) for the eyelash-RA? This is not a stylistic/glyph variation, it
> > > depends on grammar and pronounciation, neither of which are a focus
> > > of Unicode.
> I think there is no problem in the current Unicode standard with regard
> to Marathi eyelash ra. The eyelash ra can be considered the half form
> of the letter ra -- although it is only used in Marathi, and languages
> like Hindi use the other contextual forms of ra, i.e. reph and the
> subscribed stroke, for preceding and following ra respectively.
> These should be the default when no ZWJ is present. From my point of
> view there is no case of 'double duty' here.
> > The eyelash Ra should be formed by U0931 (RRA) + U94D (halant) when it is
> > followed by any consonant or a Invisible consonant INV (named ZWJ in
> > Unicode). You can view this implementation widely used for Marathi in
> > India, by downloading LEAP-Lite from CDAC's Web site and typing it out
> > by shift-J, d, / using the Inscript keyboard layout with Caps-Lock on.
> The INV character of ISCII should not be confused with ZWJ in Unicode.
> They have different semantics.
> > The character U0931 is used for this eyelash Ra in marathi apart from
> > being the hard RA consonant in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. This is also
> > described in the ISCII document. So the reference R5 on page 6-39 of
> > Unicode 2.0 needs to be corrected to read RRA-halant instead of Ra-halant.
> > Once this is done, the double duty in the role of ZWJ with respect to Ra
> > halant will get resolved. Once you do this you treat the eyelash-RA as
> > the half form of the consonant RRA and this becomes consistent with
> > half forms of other consonants too.
> I think the choice in ISCII to re-use the Dravidian RRA for Marathi
> eyelash ra is unlucky, especially when you want to display characters
> in another script. I don't want to see Tamil RRA show up as Marathi
> eyelash RA, when viewing Tamil in Devanagari. The current choice in
> Unicode has my preference.
> Regards,
> Jeroen Hellingman

John Clews (Chair of ISO/TC46/SC2: Conversion of Written Languages)

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