Re: Malayalam Zero - an error

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Apr 06 2005 - 14:04:13 CST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Malayalam Zero - an error"

    From: "N. Ganesan" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 8:56 PM
    Subject: Malayalam Zero - an error

    > Zero digit in all literary Indian languages have deep connection with
    > European zero digit
    > "Greek omicron". ( (a) The logic of unity : the discovery of zero and
    > emptiness in
    > Praj˝aparamita thought by H. Matsuo, SUNY, 1987 (b) The nothing that is :
    > a natural history of zero by R. Kaplan, OUP, 2000 ).
    > Take a look at zero in Indian languages (Of course, Tamil zero needs to be
    > added here).
    > Malayalam zero is exactly the same as Tamil zero or Hindi zero.
    > But in unicode Malayalam codechart,
    > 0D66 defines a symbol as malayalam zero.
    > Actually, it is a symbol for "1/2", not Zero.
    > The error in the malayalam zero sign
    > needs to be corrected.

    If what you say there is true, then the existing character on U+0D66 and
    named "MALAYALAM DIGIT ZERO" can't be removed, but a usage notice can be
    added in the chart if it actually designates one half. If there's such an
    error, then the error comes from ISCII.

    Then another character would be needed to represent the Malalayam digit
    (U+0D65 or U+0D70 ?)

    If ISCII is right in its encoding (which assumes that all scripts can share
    the same bytecode for the same decimal digit), then may be only the
    representative glyph is wrong, and should be changed to display a circle
    similar to U+0D20 (MALALAYAM LETTER TTHA = ta).

    But then the representative glyph shown on the Unicode chart is effectively
    another character that merits encoding somewhere else with a distinct name.
    As there does not seem to exist such "one-half" digit in other ISCII-based
    scripts, except in Malalayalam, this should go into the part of the chart
    dedicated to characters specific to a specific script (i.e. U+0?70 to U+0?77
    or U+0?F7 to U+0?F7).

    So your comment rather suggests the addition of U+0D70 MALAYALAM DIGIT ONE
    HALF (I am not sure however that this is really a digit, this may be a
    modifier for the number written before it...) with the glyph currently shown
    for MALAYALAM DIGIT ZERO, this glyph being corrected on the chart (this
    would minimize the impact because no other character properties would need
    to be changed), by the glyph similar to the one used in Devanagari:

    Note that Devanagari Zero looks like Devanagari LETTER TTHA, without the
    joining upper bar which is inherent to all Devanagari LETTERS; this suggests
    that the actual glyph for Malalayalam digiti zero would be exactly the same
    as the existing Malayalam letter TTHA on U+0D20.

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