From: Mike Meir (Mike42@gateseven.co.uk)
Date: Wed Aug 06 2003 - 06:59:47 EDT
I have been trying to track down a definition of Canonical Combining
Class 7: Nuktas (and of the other combining classes): can anyone point
me in its direction? A clear definition of the Canonical Combining
Clases, would presumably form the basis of an evaulation of the
viability of a spacing-headline-height nukta as a separate Unicode code
The document I posted previously, which I attach again for reference,
lists printed documents in which various placements for (I hardly dare
say) nuktas are used, including more than one use by more than one
author, in both India and Bangladesh, of the double nukta on Ja. The
document was prepared for Dr Anthony P. Stone, Project Leader,
ISO/TC46/SC2/WG12 Transliteration of Indic scripts, by Abu Jar M Akkas.
Judging by this document the dot is found, in the case of Perso-Arabic
transcription below, to the right, or aligned with the headline. Only in
the first case is it non-spacing. In one case, both below, and to the
lower right are found in the same dictionary, which suggests fairly
strongly that there is no real difference between those two positions,
one a spacing, the other a non-spacing, form of the dot.
While the details of the schemes vary slightly, they are united in the
principle that the dot does the trick: in other words, the simplest
representation is of a Bengali Character, with a dot. There are
personal, practical and typographic preferences for where the dot should
be, but these are not basic.
Solaiman, I was not suggesting that the placement of the nukta should be
controlled in any way, nor that it is not useful, placed at
headline/matra height, nor that it has not been used in books, but
merely that there doesn't seem to be much of a case for making a top
nukta an additional letter in Unicode, when you can place the dot which
is represented by the current code point anywhere you want in relation
to grpahemes in fancy text by constructing a font with ligatures in that
As it is, the Nukta is listed as having General Category Mn, which is a
Mark, Non-Spacing. It has the Canonical Combining Class 7: Nuktas. The
Top Nukta you have identified definitely has the appearance of being
General Category Mc, Mark Spacing Combining. Nevertheless, the
documentation also suggests that the combining classes are not to be
taken literally as applied to fancy text, whcih is what your scan is: an
example of real-world, fancy, text.
Michael, when you say that a second nukta should be stacked on top of a
first, do you mean, in principle, in in a plain text representation only
- i.e., one in which, symptomatically, no conjunct forms at all would be
found? That would seem fair enough.
The only form of the double-nuktaed Ja that I have seen does have the
nuktas side-by-side, and was prepared by Linotype. I presume this was
not done without some research, taking it back to the Bose instance,
probably. However, this refleects fancy text, obviously.
Typographically, the priority with nuktas is to place them so that they
remain distinguishable at small sizes when other elements are combined
within the same grapheme. Stacking ( I presume this implies one above
the other, both remaining visible) in this instance is a bit
counter-productive, since it inevitably results either in an increase in
line spacing, or the danger that a further stacked element will crash
into an element of the line below, becoming illegible. This would apply
in both plain and fancy text.
From: Omi Azad [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 05 August 2003 19:27
To: Solaiman Karim
Cc: Paul Nelson (TYPOGRAPHY); Kenneth Whistler; firstname.lastname@example.org
What will be the result man?
Solaiman Karim wrote:
I don't know if I misunderstood or not but someone said it is useless
add in unicode. Someone is saying somthing which he doesn't even know
is it he is talkign about. Are you guys saying is just made up what I
to you that it is not only Arbic it is also use in english to translate
some other language such as French so and so. Please let me know if I
misunderstood you guys and it seems to me that Bangla should be limited.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Nelson (TYPOGRAPHY)" <mailto:email@example.com>
To: "Kenneth Whistler" <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
Cc: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 7:16 PM
Subject: [indic] Re: Top Nukta... and double nuktas ... and more nuktas
I guess I totally misunderstood what Omi was stating then.
It seems there are no less than 8 different ways to transliterate this
From: Kenneth Whistler [ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 4:14 PM
To: Paul Nelson (TYPOGRAPHY)
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: [indic] Re: Top Nukta... and double nuktas ... and more
Your proposal fails the plain text case and can only be obtained with
higher level markup to set this notion of a "spacing Nukta". Why not
simply encode a BENGALI SPACING NUKTA character be encoded? That
removes any requirement for a higher level markup and allows for
disambiuous use in plain text.
I don't understand this contention. What Mike was reporting is that
there are two schools of practice for placing these nuktas on Bengali
letters required for transcribing Arabic
a. place the nukta (generally) under the base letter, in
a typographically pleasing location for that particular
base letter's shape.
b. place the nukta (roughly) on the head line, often
implemented simply with a full stop as an ad hoc
solution, even if placed oddly.
That is what Abu Jar M Akkas reported as part of the detailed analysis
Particularly if (a) is the preferred approach and (b) is considered an
unpleasing typographical hack, then surely we are simply talking about
the already existing Bengali nukta, which, after all, was encoded
precisely for such usage in Bengali.
Nobody is claiming that in *plain* text a distinction has to be
maintained between a nukta which displays appropriately underneath a
consonant and a nukta which displays up to the right on a head line. So
I don't see any need to
*encode* a new character distinction here.
Plain text should be focussed on representing the text *content*, not on
the fine details of its display. And in this case, it seems appropriate
to me that style or font markup should be the means for indicating any
such distinctions in placements of a nukta.
-- Regards Omi Azad Altruists International http://www.altruists.org <http://www.altruists.org>
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