RE: Tamil conjunct consonants (was: Encoding Tamil SRI)

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Fri Nov 07 2003 - 05:34:34 EST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "RE: Encoding Tamil SRI"

    Peter Jacobi wrote:
    > IMHO this doesn't fit well actual Tamil use and raises a lot
    > of practical problems.
    > Either there must be an accepted list of these ligatures (but lists of
    > archaic usage tend to grow), or one is bound to put a preemptive ZWNJ
    > after every SHA VIRAMA in modern use, to prevent conjunct consonant
    > forming.
    > If this archaic ligature problems extends to other grantha
    > consonants, even more preemptive ZWNJs are necessary for
    > contempary Tamil.

    "Archaic" ligatures are supposed to be present only in a font designed for
    reproducing an "archaic" look. Those fonts should not be used for
    typesetting modern Tamil.

    There is nothing special with Tamil here: this would be true for any other

    E.g., if you typeset this English e-mail with a Fraktur OpenType font many
    "archaic" ligatures might appear, such as "ch" or "ss". Moreover, unexpected
    contextual forms could appear: e.g., the "s" in "special" could look very
    different from the "s" in "ligatures" ("long s" vs. "short s").

    ZWNJ's etc. should be inserted only in special cases, e.g. when the presence
    or absence of a ligature would change the meaning of the word, or anyway
    affect the meaning of the text.

    _ Marco

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