RE: Never say never

From: Andy White (
Date: Tue Feb 11 2003 - 23:04:09 EST

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

    Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    > 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.

    Yes this is the same as the innovation used with the Oriya letter Wa. (A
    semi vowel.)

    > 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.

    The Oriya letter Wa is the same. It uses an existing conjunct form of Ba
    (or Va if you prefer) and combines it with vowel 'O'
    > 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.

    And the well-defined way is?
    > In some respect, the problem is similar to arbitrary
    > orthographic adaptation [...]. 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.
    The above seems to be an argument as to why the Oriya Letter Wa should
    not have been encoded. (It is after all a modern innovation used to
    represent the foreign sound of 'W'.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Feb 11 2003 - 23:43:11 EST