(no subject)

From: Krishna Desikachary (kdesika@autobahn.mb.ca)
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 20:36:10 EST

The intent of this message is to point out some of the deficiencies in the unicode specifications for non-Devangari Indic scripts. It is well known (inescapable and undeniable) fact that people writing in non_Devanagari scripts such as Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and others transcribe Sanskrit and Vedic texts in their own script to conveniently study them. In fact many well known Vedic and Sanskrit scholars in Andhra Pradesh, where Telugu is spoken and which is my native state, do not know how to read Devanagari.
They have all read and written these texts only in Telugu. Also, it is an established fact that many Sanskrit manuscripts from ancient times are available only in non-Devanagari scripts. Given this situation, I am terribly dissatisfied that the current Unicode specification for non_Devanagari scripts lacks many symbols required to transcribe Sanskrit and Vedic texts properly. These include:

a) All the swara symbols required to transcribe Vedic texts (udatta, anudatta, double udatta atc, and the symbols used in writing Samaveda)
b) Avagraha, Vocalic L and LL Matra symbols
c) Half Visarga, used in grammar and other Sanskrit texts

In addition, Unicode Standard need to address the following features in case of Telugu standardization

The Dantya (Dontal) ca and ja, and the vowel ligatures of these two consonants with A, u, U, o, O, Au occur in Telugu language. These are equivalent to ja-nukta and ca-nukta in Hindi. But these are not included in Telugu Unicode specification. Without these, it is impossible to compose an authentic Telugu dictionary, and also the sorting of text will also be wrong. So, these MUST be included in the Unicode spec for Telugu.

In addition, the symbols to denote Karnatic music should also be included in the specification of symbols so that any script transcribing Karnatic compositions should be able to do so correctly.

Unless an effort is made to include all these symbols in all the relevant Indic scripts, the existing specification is woefully

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