RE: Oriya: nndda / nnta?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sat Nov 29 2003 - 17:11:46 EST

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    At 12:32 -0800 2003-11-29, Peter Constable wrote:

    > > "Pronounced" as you mean it here refers to the
    >> reading rules, not the structure of the script.
    >That seems to me to be saying we should be encoding the structure of the
    >script (a statement I'd agree with in general).


    > > It can't be a NNTA
    >> since that would assimilate to NNTTA.
    >Wouldn't it be more likely for a nasal to assimilate to an obstruent
    >rather than the other way? (We say 'impossible', not 'intossible'.)

    The dental t assimilates to the retroflex n.

    >But that statement is following phonology, not the structure of the
    >script. Your statements seem inconsistent to me.

    I'm saying that the syllable NNTA isn't a probable syllable, because
    it would assimilate to NNTTA, while NNDDA is a phonetically normal
    syllable, which is the answer to your question.

    >The question is, do we encode something based on it's shape, or
    >based on the phonemes it represents.

    It's Brahmic. We encode according to the characters used to write the
    phonemes. The glyph shape is secondary.

    >Following clear cases, the shape is that of TA.

    The shape in my source shows the same shape for subjoined TA and DDA.

    >NN.TA is phonologically unlikely, though, whereas NN.TTA or NN.DDA
    >is phonologically plausible; so, on the other hand, we could say it
    >makes little sense to encode NN.TA, and so should encode this as NN.DDA.

    That's correct.

    >I guess I'd be inclined to go with that reasoning, though I have
    >encountered an NN.DDA conjunct that uses a subjoined small DDA in a font
    >(see attached); haven't encountered that in texts so far, though.

    Well. Where did you encounter it?

    > > Besides my book gives NNDDA
    >> explicitly as being made of NNA and DDA and has the same glyph.
    >OK, that's two sources that indicate this. I'll go with that.


    > > The book is Learn Oriya in 30 Days, a 150-page introductory grammarin
    > > the National Integration Language Series.
    >Thanks for the reference. I've tracked down a copy and it's on its way.

    I'm sure it's in

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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