RE: conjucts beginning with independent vowel?

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 03:45:42 EST

Peter Constable wrote:
>In the better known Indic scripts, are there ever cases of conjuncts formed
>with independent vowels and a following consonant?
>I know this may sound weird. The idea would be a VC syllable like "al".
>Things that are more familiar are to have CC conjuncts, which would have an
>encoded representation of
> C + virama + C
>and syllables with dependent vowel diacritics, which would have an encoded
>representation of
> C + Vdep
>Now, suppose a VC conjunct were to occur, as described above; "al", for
>example. Would it seem preferable to treat the vowel like a consonant, and
>encode as
> A + virama + L
>or to treat the consonant, and encode as
> A + Ldep

I am afraid that I am missing your point. I kept reading all the replies so
far, in the hope to see a clarification, but I am still in the dark.

A VC syllable like "al" seems to me totally in the logic of Indic scripts,
and I think it should regularly be spelled like this:

        independentVowel consonant virama

But the problem you are posing is clearly something different. Would you
explain it once more for me? Or, perhaps better, could describe or draw
examples of the *glyphs* you are talking about?

Peter Constable wrote (in a more recent message):
>I hadn't noticed the vocalic L and LL in Devanagari and Bengali before.
>These do give a precedent of consonantal sounds encoded as combining marks.

If you are looking for precedents of consonants encoded as combining marks,
the best candidates are possibly:

        and their equivalents in the other Indic scripts.

I think that the case of vocalic L (short and long) is quite different: they
are (or originally were) *vowels* in all respects, just like vocalic R and
vowels I and U.

_ Marco

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