RE: Unicode and transliteration

Date: Fri Aug 27 1999 - 19:42:33 EDT

Can somebody tell me how I can write 'cillu' 'RA' in Unicode.
For that matter, any 'cillu' form of a Malayalam character.

I have put the glyph of 'cillu' form of 'RA'(U+0D31) in
Please have a look at it.

A character X having 'cillu' form may assume it when the next character Y
is not a vowel. But, if Y has a symbol for it (eg: 'YA'), X may not assume this.
Instead it will stay in its original form. This depends upon the words in which
XY combination appear. Two conflicting examples are: 'karmmam' and 'kaaryam'.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 1999 7:15 PM
> To: Unicode List
> Cc: Unicode List
> Subject: Re: Unicode and transliteration
> My question was not based on any implementations or other
> standards.
> Given an encoding for a language, a Unicode font should
> be able to reproduce
> all the glyphs
> existing in that language. As all you know, it is not
> that intuitive. For
> example, Malayalam
> 'ra'(0D31) can take at least three glyph forms depending
> on the context.
> Whether all these
> glyphs are reproducable from a Unicode font should be a
> concern. For this,
> rules
> should be defined, describing such and such combination
> produces such and
> such glyph. As an
> example, <ra> + <zwj> produces 'cillu' glyph of 'ra'. Is
> such a rule set
> existing ?

In other words, the form is governed by some syntactic rule? Sounds exactly
like Arabic shaping rules.

Should the different glyph forms be considered distinct shapes, or variants
on a particular shape? More importantly, do they carry different semantic

Does U+0D31 reflect a grammatical concept that goes beyond the phonemic?

My reading of Unicode is that it does not handle the mapping from deep to
surface structure; it only does the surface, the images used in written


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