Re: Bangla: [ZWJ], [VIRAMA] and CV sequences

From: Deepayan Sarkar (
Date: Tue Oct 07 2003 - 14:53:34 CST

On Tuesday 07 October 2003 12:21, Gautam Sengupta wrote:
> Is there any reason (apart from trying to be
> ISCII-conformant) why the Bangla word /ki/ "what"
> cannot be encoded as [KA][ZWJ][I]? Do we really need
> combining forms of vowels to encode Indian scripts?

I don't know what the original motivations were, but one thing about the
current (ISCII-based) encoding scheme that appeals to me is that on average
it requires fewer characters than other more natural schemes. Bangla has a
high percentage of 'vowel signs', each of which would require two characters
in your scheme as opposed to one in the current one.

> Also, why not use [CONS][ZWJ][CONS] instead of
> [CONS][VIRAMA][CONS]? One could then use [VIRAMA] only
> where it is explicit/visible.

But this would not reflect the fact that the *glyph* [CONS][ZWJ][CONS] is
actually the same thing as the *sequence of characters* [CONS][VIRAMA][CONS],
i.e., [CONS][VIRAMA][ZWNJ][CONS] is also a perfectly legitimate
representation. This latter decision is one that should be taken (normally)
by the rendering mechanism (loosely speaking, the font), not the author.


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