Re: conjucts beginning with independent vowel?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 07:05:51 EST

Ar 11:28 -0800 2001-01-17, scríobh

>I got the impression from reading chapter 9 in TUS3
>that in Devanagari virama occurs only after a consonant, which seems
>reasonable if you consider that it doesn't make sense to kill an inherent
>vowel on an independent vowel.

Killing the vowel is only part of the virama's function, at least in the
way we use it in coding. It's used to create conjunct ligatures.

As I say, Cham can put vowel signs on independent vowels, so there's some
precedent for considering independent vowels and consonants to be
analogous. Remember that in Myanmar and Khmer there is the vowel carrier
which is sometimes considered a consonant in addition to the independent

>I'm trying to sort out what should be proposed for Syloti Nagri. There are
>four consonants that can be conjoined to a preceding independent vowel.
>From what I understand, these are mainly used for Arabic borrowings in
>Islamic texts, but possibly also in English borrowings. So, for example,
>Allah is written as al-la-h.

I'd be interested to see the data, Peter. It'd help to determine what to do.

>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.

Vocalic r and vocalic l in Sanskrit are VOWELS.

>There is a difference from the Syloti case, though: in D and B, these are
>distinct marks, discontiguous from the base character, whereas the marks in
>the Syloti case are conjoined, being obligatorily attached to the vertical
>stem of the base (independent vowel) character.


Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
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