RE: Never say never

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Feb 11 2003 - 21:55:41 EST

  • Next message: Andy White: "RE: Never say never"

    Michael Everson will probably also answer, but yes, he
    knows what you are talking about.

    The problem here is in part the result of too easily
    using the term "letter" here.

    These things are really a Bengali orthographic solution
    to the problem of representing vowel sounds (in borrowed
    words) that are alien to the "slots" of the basic
    phonology, and which don't have obvious representations
    using the basic vowel letters of the system. As Michael
    suggested, the solution makes use of an existing conjunct
    form of ya, in combination with other vowel forms, and
    then provides a reading for them.

    In principle, at some point in the future, either the
    phonology or the orthography or both could evolve to
    the point where the entire constructs start to get handled
    as basic orthographic units (or "letters") for Bengali,
    but it isn't really the place of the Unicode Standard to
    try to push that evolution, if there is a well-defined
    way to represent the sequence using the characters
    already in the standard.

    In some respect, the problem is similar to arbitrary
    orthographic adaptation that people using the English
    alphabetic subset of the Latin script sometimes make
    when attempting to represent sounds in other languages
    that have no standard representation with English
    spelling rules. An example which comes to mind is
    using "kl'" to try to represent a lateral affricate,
    for example. The fact that the lateral affricate might
    be a phonological unit in the other language, and that
    it might even have a unitary letter representation
    (e.g., U+019A barred-l) in some other orthography, doesn't mean
    that if people start to represent it "kl'" in the
    "English alphabet" that we then have to turn around and
    encode a "kl'" character in Unicode.


    > I said:
    > ? (I am talking about the letters
    > > mentioned in the Unicode Indic FAQ,
    > >
    > Just to be clear, I mean the letters called 'Vowel_A_zophola_AA' &
    > 'Vowel_E_zophola_AA' as mentioned in the above mentioned FAQ.
    > Andy

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