Re: Tamil Collation vs Transliteration/Transcription Encoding

From: N. Ganesan (
Date: Sun Jun 26 2005 - 10:09:44 CDT

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    Srivas wrote:
    >For example, Tamil writing system is based
    >on phonemic based Alphabet system, while
    >Devanagari is based on phonemic only system.
    >In Tamil k = k, h, g, x, q, c (mahaL, magan, makkan,
    >quil, xavier, etc..).

    In round trip transliteration between Indic scripts,
    a one-to-one letter correspondence between Tamil
    letters and other Indic scripts exist, and works
    quite well.

    This fact is recorded in the Tamil chapter of
    the Unicode standard also. The unicode std.
    mentions using 2,3,4 as subscripts on the
    Tamil letters (k, c, T, t, p in transliteration).
    There are hundreds of books existing using
    2,3,4 as subscripts or superscripts upon
    க், ச், ட், த், ப் (= k, c, T, t, p respectively in transliteration)
    to transliterate voiced and aspirated letters
    (called varga letters of k, c, T, t, p) on Indic scripts
    into Tamil.

    A proposal to change the text in the Standard
    mentioning 2,3,4 as subscripts and superscripts
    can easily be done. In it, will provide usage samples
    from Kannada, Telugu, Sanskrit, Hindi etc.,

    Because Tamil script is non-conjunct these
    2,3,4 super(sub)scripts come in handy.
    Tamil script is for writing Tamil language books,

    Of course, in Tamil Grantha script to write
    Sanskrit texts, the "varga" letters are independently
    defined, and they also conjugate heavily.
    The main difference between the two Southern scripts
    is the language it uses, the sort order and
    the nature of conjuncts in each.

    >In Devanagari individual glyph shapes represent
    >each of these phonemes. In Tamil aspirated and
    >many other sounds are written using a single
    >modulating indicator called Aytham,

    Quite untrue.

    Devanagari and other Indic scripts'
    aspirated letters are never written in Tamil script
    books with Aytham (in Unicode, Tamil Visarga sign).
    The super(/sub) scripts 2 and 4 are used
    for unvoiced aspirate and voiced aspirate letter
    for each of the 5 varga letter in Tamil script

    N. Ganesan

    >yet an
    >unacceptably high number of code points
    >allocated for Tamil is deprecated and made
    >unusable because of this
    >transliteration encoding that never works.

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