RE: Devanagari question

From: Ayers, Mike (
Date: Tue Nov 14 2000 - 15:17:42 EST

> From: D.V. Henkel-Wallace []
> At 06:30 2000-11-14 -0800, Marco Cimarosti wrote:
> >But my point was: not even Mr. Ethnologue himself knows
> exactly *which*
> >combinations are meaningful, in all orthographic system.
> And, clearly, no
> >one can figure out which combinations may become meaningful
> in the *future*
> >-- e.g. when a previously unwritten language gets its
> orthography, or when
> >the spelling of an already written language gets changed.
> Sadly, it seems unlikely that any furture change or adoption
> of orthography
> will use characters not already supported by the then major computer
> systems. In fact the trend seems to be the other way, viz
> Spain's changing
> of its collation rules.

        I do not think that this is a trend. The last I knew,
computer-savvy Taiwan and Hong Kong were continuing to invent new
characters. In the end, the onus is on the computer to support the user.
Only during the current frenzy of computerization is the reverse permitted -
this will pass.

> For a minority language (which all remaining unwritten
> languages are) the
> pressure will be strong to use existing combinations (since
> they won't
> constitute a large enough community for people to write
> special rendering
> support).
        That depends on how you look at it. From what I understand (which I
freely admit I have learned only from this list), Indic languages tend to be
supported in toto, and therefore even the currently unwritten ones will
belong to a highly non-minority language family.



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