Devanagari and half-consonant forms

From: Mark Leisher (
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 15:28:39 EST

I recently became aware of some confusion about the role of the Unicode ZWJ
(Zero-Width Joiner) in Devanagari consonant glyph formation.

The short answer is that ZWJ is really only necessary to prevent two
consonants from forming *a conjunct or a ligature*. ZWJ is not necessary
otherwise, because the process of "killing" the vowel causes the normal
formation of the half-consonant in the expected places.

Attached are two small images that show how the ZWJ is used to inhibit
sub-joined conjunct formation.
Mark Leisher
Computing Research Lab I have never made but one prayer to God,
New Mexico State University a very short one:
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL "Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous."
Las Cruces, NM 88003 And God granted it. -- Voltaire, letter

KKA sub-joined

KKA not sub-joined

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:56 EDT