Re: Suggestions for modification - Malayalam

From: Jeroen Hellingman (
Date: Wed Sep 01 1999 - 17:17:34 EDT

To clarify my previous mail, the traditional Malayalam sign AU is as
displayed in the Unicode book, in modern script, only the AU length mark is
used, not the glyph also used for sign E before the consonant(s) it applies
In my opinion, AU length mark
should ONLY be used in text (for example grammars) explaining this glyph,
and no where else. If people understand this, having AU mark in the
standard, being idle most of the time doesn't harm. If people start using
it instead of AU, we have a big problem.

I agree it is a remainder of glyph wise thinking, as is the (in my opinion
very bad) decomposition of two part vowel signs -- I still have to check
whether this has been rectified in 3.0.

Jeroen Hellingman

-----Original Message-----

>> -----Original Message-----
>> >
>> >3. What is the difference between symbol for AU and AU length mark ?
>> I traditional script (before the 1974 script reform) AU was a two part
>> character. The Unicode standard writers probably only had a reference for
>> the
>> traditional script. It does no harm though.
>> Jeroen Hellingman
> I believe a separate code for length marks is found in Unicode encoding
>of several Indic scripts when the vowel sign appears on two sides of a
>consonant (or consonant cluster). It does not exist in ISCII. Its
>presence may be due to the inability of some Western computers to deal
>with "discontinuous" characters. It seems to be a vestigal remain from a
>graphic rather than phonetic approach to encoding Indic scripts. I suspect
>it makes sorting more difficult--what constitutes 'harm' I cannot
>say--but I fear it cannot be eliminated. I do not know Malayalam.
> Regards,
> Jim Agenbroad ( )
> The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
>views of any government or any agency of any.
>Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
>of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

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