RE: Devanagari and half-consonant forms

Date: Tue Nov 23 1999 - 13:22:36 EST

Rajkumar wrote:

>I am no expert in Devanagari or in Hindi but in all the Hindi i studied or
>seen the kka is represented by the liguature in the fig kk2. What i did
>not understand is that in what situation the kk1 is used and what is the
>difference between the two. Also what should be done if i have to get two
>ka s side by side ie just kaka no liguature or a conjunct

I am even less expert than you, but in India I have actually seen examples
of "kka" written as <half-KA,whole-KA>. Of course not in high-quality
typography (like books or newspapers), but on everyday printed matter (like
bus tickets, shop receipts, etc.).

If you want to write "kaka" in Unicode, you simply type the two <KA>s one
after the other! In this case, you need no <VIRAMA>, <ZWJ> or <ZWNJ> at all.

To summarize:

Case|Unicode sequence |Normally displays as |Reads
1 |KA,KA |whole-KA,whole-KA |kaka
2 |KA,VIRAMA,KA |double-KA-ligature (fig.kk2)|kka
3 |KA,VIRAMA,ZWJ,KA |half-KA,whole-KA (fig.kk1) |kka
4 |KA,VIRAMA,ZWNJ,KA|whole-KA,VIRAMA,whole-KA |kka

Case 1 is the *only* way to write "kaka"; case 2 is the *normal* way to
write "kka".

Cases 3 and 4 are alternate ways of writing "kka", that reproduce the effect
of "poor typography" on a computer system that would otherways produce a
"rich typography" rendering.

It is not clear when people would possibly need cases 3 and 4; one possible
situation is in didactic texts (e.g. when you are teaching Hindi and your
students have not yet learned all the conjunct-consonant forms).


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