Re: Bengali: variants of same conjunct

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 09:19:42 EDT

Michael Kaplan wrote:
> > > Thus since people who write the language sent both,
> > <cut>
> >
> > Do you mean that Tamil writers *purposely* use both the "ancient" and the
> > "modern" forms in the same document?
> > What is the intent?
> >
> yes, that is what am I saying.

Okay, I did not know (and I did not notice any example thereof; but I do not
read Tamil either ;-)).

But what is the semantic intent, then?
In other words, what may mean the use of "elephant-trunk" ai vs the "normal" one?
What may mean the use of the rounded naa vs the "normal", two parts, one?

Are we talking about that, by the way? And are they any other differences?

[The different forms for Latin a, g or ]

> > And I believe this is entirely a rendering problem that is (far) outside
> > Unicode's scope.
> I do not see how, if BOTH forms are in use and one form is not renderable in
> a font that is Unicode compliant, how this would NOT be considered a Unicode
> issue.

Because there is no semantic difference between them.

Similarly, if you use a font like Poetica, there are a vast numbers of
different glyphs for &. Does anyone consider encoding this in Unicode?

> It is crucial that language as used should be possible to render with
> Unicode, should it not?

I disagree.
For example, when I want to insist on one point, I use several technics.
When I speak, I speak louder and a bit slower; when I wrote a note,
I use bolder font; on Internet, I use asterisks. All of these are part
of the language, and as such are to be kept with the text. But I do not
believe it have to be encoded in Unicode: this would simply lead too far
in a multi-language world.

Usage of glyphic variations is in my mind even less significant, so
should also be dropped.

> The ligatures you mention do not really call into the same category as
> the Tamil case, since all of them can be rendered using the 3.0 (or
> even the 2.0!) standard.

Please explain to me how you render the script form of using a
standard upright font like Helvetica (not the expert variation).
Or else the two-bowl form of g with Courier?

Or did I miss your point?

> I do know that the TamilNadu government has specific issues with the
> Unicode standard, is this not one of the issues?

Perhaps, I do not know.
In fact, I cannot figure what issues the TN goverment really have.

> Or do they prefer only the usage outlined in the standard, in order
> to encourage people to use it?

Please do not forget that while Tamil Nadu is the principal place where
Tamil is spoken, it is not the only one, as Tamil is spoken all around
the Indian Ocean.

When I speak about French usage, I can only give testimonies. The various
French official agencies in charge of the language have a bit more power,
but it is far from things like "thou shalt use this rendering form"...
(for example, if a bill were passed to eradicate \oe or in French,
usage will survive for years, and Unicode will have to continue to
support it, not to mention the other French-speaking countries that may
easily chose to _not_ apply the bill themselves).


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:04 EDT