Re: Virama based model - a note (was: Malayalam digit zero - an error)

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Fri Apr 29 2005 - 03:39:26 CST

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    Naga Ganesan wrote
    > Quite simply, A. Nakanishi is wrong in stating the rules (3)
    > and (5) as far as Tamil script is formulated.

    Here you are speaking about a script.

    > Tamil grammar,

    The /grammar/ of a /script/ is a tangential concept, IMHO.

    > chief amidst Darvidian languages and,
    > one of the two classical languages
    > of India the other being Sanskrit,

    Well here we are not speaking about scripts any more.
    Sanskrit is not a script, you know that much better than I do. I usually
    wrote Sanskrit using the Latin script, and then there are certainly neither
    inherent a vowel nor conjunct then.
    Similarly, it is possible to write Sanskrit using the so-called Tamil
    Grantha script; whether it should be considered different from the Tamil
    script when it comes to Unicode is an open question, yet there is no real
    doubt the Grantha script derives from the Tamil script as used (long ago)
    for the Dravidian languages.

    > The use of the virAma in Sanskrit [...] not to be
    > found in the texts of Sanskrit grammarians. In those works, the term
    > virAma does exist, but it marks the end of an utterance cf. virAmo
    > 'vasAnam (Panini 1.4. 110),

    As far as I known Sanskrit was not written when Pāṇini (பாணிநி, पाणिनि) was
    supposedly designing his grammar. In fact, there is a lot of facts in the
    way Aṣṭādhyāyī (அஷ்டாத்யயி, अष्टाध्ययि) is conceived that indicates it was
    targetted at oral teaching rather than written. So any reference to Pāṇini
    while discussing scripts artefacts appears strange to me.


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