From: James Kass (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jun 26 2005 - 08:26:45 CDT
This letter from Suzanne McCarthy is being sent to the public Unicode
list per her request.
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: suzanne mccarthy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:
>> Tamil Grammar, the oldest written Grammar that still in use, devotes the
>> whole of chapter 1 to authigraphy.
> It appears that the Tolkappiyam, the ancient work on Tamil grammar, which also
> describes the consonants and vowels, is not well known to English speakers. I do
> not know if there is a good English translation. That might help.
> Work on early Tamil Brahmi by Iravatham Mahadevan has also shown that Tamil
> Brahmi was not an abugida like the other Brahmi scripts. It did not have an
> inherent a.
> View the table on early Tamil at the bottom of this page.
> It is also interesting to note that Isaac Taylor 1883 in The Alphabet
> represented Tamil as an alphabet. The consonant plus pulli was shown as the
> basic unit unlike all other Brahmi derived scripts.
> Diderot's encyclopedia, 1750, portrays Tamil as a syllabary, once again,
> unique representation among all Brahmi scripts.
> Part of the confusion seems to come back to the fact that the pulli has been
> called "virama" in Unicode although they do not do the same thing. The
> similarity between Tamil and other Indic scripts has been vastly
> I understand the Tamil writing system to have an origin related to other
> Brahmi scripts. However, it has been defined and represented over the
> millenia in its own terms, not just 'one of the Brahmi scripts.'
> I hope this helps.
> Suzanne McCarthy
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