Re: Deprecate Tamil 0bb6

From: Richard Wordingham (
Date: Sat Jun 25 2005 - 13:27:29 CDT

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    An exchange in response was accidentally made off-list. My response is
    tagged RW, SS's response to my post is tagged SS.

     Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:
    > Deprecating 0BB6

    > Please discuss this under this subject heading.

    > I'm lookin to discuss collation under that thread.U+0D02
    > I might not answer for evry question immediately for this thread.

    The idea here is to look to Unicode for support for the exclusion of
    Sanskritic elements from Tamil, as has been done with the development of the
    Tamil alphabet from the Grantha alphabet. In a way this is ironic, for
    splitters seem to love diversity, while lumpers would see sameness. But in
    this case, distinguishing the Tamil script from its sister script Malayalam
    facilitates the exclusion of letters from the ancestral Grantha script!

    Should Unicode oppress the minority who think that the Sanskritisation of
    Tamil is acceptable?

    I think there is a deprecation solution that will solve this issue, and
    place Tamil in a position more like that of English:

    1) Deprecate not only U+0BB6, but deprecate all assigned points in the
    ranges U+0B82 to U+0BA8 and U+0BAA to U+0BD7 in favour of the corresponding
    points in the ranges U+0D02 to U+0D28 and U+0D2A to U+0D57.

    2) Change the class of U+0D03 from Mc to Lo (the class of U+0B83 'TAMIL SIGN

    This will provide far greater freedom in the writing of Tamil - it should
    merely require the careful choice of the appropriate fonts or writing
    subsystem ('language') markup options. It might be tidier to add:

    3) Create letter U+0D29 MALAYALAM LETTER TAMIL NNNA and deprecate U+0BA9.

    but this would probably be a breach of the stability pact, as it could be
    seen as a replacement for U+0BA9 TAMIL LETTER NNNA.

    I don't expect this solution to be entertained seriously, but it does
    illustrate one of the problems that arise by not unifying scripts.
    Widespread scripts do have their own issues, e.g. the soft-dotting
    complications in Latin and the multiple kafs in the Arabic script.

    At present, of course, U+0BB6 is largely unusable in the Windows word except
    with the inherent vowel - Uniscribe doesn't recognise it as Tamil! I wonder
    what package people wanting to use it will have to buy.

    Tamil functions under a Grammar that defines certain characters to
    accomplish phonetic goal.

    Even though few of the early additions of Grantham letters are not used in
    Tamil except with names, I do not think many are calling for them to be
    deprecated. However, it has become the norm not to add any more of the

    obb6 falls within the catergory, Unicodes attept to add another letter to
    This is why we call for the deprecation of 0bb6 and not to add any more new

    Tamil uses more phonemes than Grantham can handle, this does not mean we add
    more and more letters. Tamil tries to keep to base letter and tries to
    expand on that. Grantham tend to create more and more shapes to each
    requirement. There is a clash in philosophy.

    What ever it is, Tamil wish to stay Tamil. Please help instead of trying to
    change it for some one elses need.

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