Re: Tamil Collation vs Transliteration/Transcription Enc

From: Sinnathurai Srivas (
Date: Sat Jun 25 2005 - 04:21:27 CDT

  • Next message: Sinnathurai Srivas: "Re: Tamil Collation vs Transliteration/Transcription Enc"

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Richard Wordingham" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2005 2:25 AM
    Subject: Re: Tamil Collation vs Transliteration/Transcription Enc

    Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:

    > However it is important that we do not add any Grantham letters to Tamil.
    > For example we are considering deprecating the new 0bb6 sh addition.

    >> Who's 'we'?

    I would say about 95% of Tamils do not use even the accepted Grantham in
    every day Tamil. I would say about 95% do not want to see any more Grantham
    added to Tamil.

    > Tamil is an ancient language with sophisticated Grammar (probably the
    > oldest Grammar in the world) to back it up with. grantham does not base
    > the writing system to this Grammar. It would be un acceptable to add any
    > more Grantha to Tamil.

    >> It makes sense that the *extra* Grantha letters are not needed for
    >> Classical
    Tamil. Modern Tamil has sounds that Classical Tamil did not.

    It is not for Unicode to change Tamil. It is not Unicode's duty to give
    legitimacy to each and every change .

    Tamils (95%) do not want to see any more Grantham included.

    Classical Tamil contains vast number of phonemes than Grantham can handle.
    Do not blame classical Tamil. The Tamil Grammar handles this and if there is
    need it should be sorted with the help of Tamil Grammar. It is not Unicode's
    duty to change Tamil.

    0BB6 sh was introduced through back door probably with some kind of
    backsribing involved.

    > Unicode encoded 0bb6 without proper consultation, again offending the
    > language in a serious way.

    > Tough. It was still being used.

    No a about 95% of Tamils do not want to see any more Grantham added to

    As I wrote yes, Unicode has the mussle and power to destroy or change Tamil,
    but will not even contemplate changing English. (Just for comparision of you
    dictatorial Tough). We have good usage sample of using the new shape "th" in
    English and you would not even consider reading abot it to change Tamil.

    I know Tamils are powewr less people in the midst of the world, at present.

    > As for aspirated, i mean dh = d+aytham, kh=k+aytham
    > For example unused code point 0b96=0b95+0b83. கஃ (KH)
    > Tamil also defines 0b83+0b95 ஃக (HK)which is not find in Grantham.

    > However praiseworthy, digraphs like these do not belong in a truly
    > phonemic

    You can not make count less number of alphabets.
    Devanagri doubled it's consonant counts by having aspirated alphabet. Tamil
    need to triple the consonant count, if if you introduce aspirated from front
    and aspirated from the back. k, kh, hk.

    There are many phonems in Tamil that Grantham do not handle. Unicode should
    not keep on adding and giving leitimacy to an ancient and classical, but
    sophisticated and handles modern requirements.

    Again, it is not the duty of Unicode to change this through back door.

    > In any case it has been a long and hard struggles to keep Grantham out.
    > Ofcourse Grantham has won over mostly all of the Indic languages. Tamils
    > wish to keep it the way it is defined in the ancient and sopisticated
    > Grammar. I do not think Uniocde with its power would once again start to
    > distroy this.
    > I was talking to some one about adding the special symbol "th" to English
    > encoding and he said Unicode does not have the power to arbitarily change
    > English, even if we provide amble evidence of usage in English.

    Even before Unicode, ISO-8859-1 enabled the restoration of the two Old
    English letters (U+00F0 and U+00FE, plus their upper case forms) for the
    'th' sounds, which had never been lost from Icelandic (which basically got
    them from Old English). There's already a special 'th' symbol compounded of
    't' and 'h' encoded - U+1D7A LATIN SMALL TH WITH STRIKETHROUGH, and there's
    only the UTC to stop the 'th' symbols from Pitman's Initial Teaching
    Alphabet (i.t.a.) being encoded.
    However, English would only be changed if influential enough people chose to
    use them.

    That is not the th I'm talking about, this is another one.

    > But he also said Unicode has the power to change Tamil and other languages
    > as there is no significant power that can stop Uncode, if Unicode decides
    > to do it.

    > I hope things do not go that far and hope Unicode will help to deprecate
    > 0bb6, as this is an addition not necessary for Tamil. It is not justified
    > to attack power less people with great and classical traditions, because
    > one has power.

    Similarly for Tamil - adding (or restoring) new letters only affects the
    language if Tamils then choose to use them. What Unicode might do is to
    stop letters being borrowed between Indic scripts. (Uniscribe would be the
    point where problems occur - rather as the version on my machine insists
    that aytham is not a base letter - or is this particular behaviour governed
    by the font?) Unicode, especially in combination with Uniscribe, may also
    inadvertently help 'oppress' groups by denying them the letters they need
    for their traditions, e.g. extra Grantha letters for Sanskritising Tamils or
    the 'redundant' letters of Lao for those who want to write Pali in their
    first script. (The latter group may not exist - I gather that Pali is
    normally written in the Tham script in Laos.)

    Incidentally, is there any way of co-ordinating the squatting of deleted Lao
    consonants in their rightful places? I thought the appropriate illegal
    encoding was fairly obvious (Lao = Thai + 0x80), but I was confused by a
    font that thought that one squatting place was as good as another.

    We are not against UC promoting counter languages aginst a language. For
    example, there is work going on to correct the mistakes in English and if UC
    want to leitimise this efforts in a separate endavour, I do not think any
    one can stop that. But Scancritising Tamil or Europeanising Hindi should not
    be done. Tamil should not be changed for some one elses need. If they so
    desired they UC can introduce a new language for them. Please do not change
    Tamil. Tamil is an ancient and sophisticated language and further it does
    not work in phonimic principles similar to grantham but it works with it's
    own phonimic principles. Please do not diamage Tamil for the sake of outside

    We will be working on proposing the new addition made by UC to add 0bb6.

    >> Richard.


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