Re: Tamil Collation vs Transliteration/Transcription Encoding

From: N. Ganesan (
Date: Sun Jun 26 2005 - 19:27:08 CDT

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    Richard Wordingham ( wrote:
    >However, the history makes plenty of sense. Early
    >Brahmi did not distinguish final consonants from
    >consonant plus short /a/. Disregarding consonants
    >clusters, which were treated separately, final
    >consonants were rare enought that the ambiguity
    >did not matter and it was more efficient to
    >use an inherent vowel for Prakrits. This does not
    >match the phonetics of Tamil, so perhaps it is not >surprising that
    it was felt better to mark any
    >/a/ - TB I. Prakrit/Sanskrit practice then comes
    >to prevail - TB II. The pulli is invented (I don't know
    > how related to the equivalent virama it is),
    >and pulli/virama makes the evolving Brahmic system > unambiguous.

    some old mails:

    >North Indian and Khmer then shed final short
    >vowels (or at least, both shed final /a/) without
    >modifying the spelling, and the ambiguity well
    >known from Hindi and Thai can set in.


    >Did you notice that N. Ganesan just cited the
    >forms with pulli when he wanted to talk about the

    Yes. Pure consonants (ie., what are given
    in Unicode code chart as "consonants"
    plus PuLLi) are defined as fundamental
    letters in addition to vowels in Tolkaappiyam.
    (Tol. grammar does not refer to Grantha letters
    like ja, ha, sha, sa, ssa, anusvara, ...
    but they are used now in Tamil script tho')

    There are good translations of Tolkaappiyam.
    will give these Tol. rules, translations
    refences soon. Already I might have mentioned them,
    check the archives of last two months or so.

    So, if a Unicode code chart instead of ISCII based
    code chart was formed in Unicode 1.0,
    it would have been very different than the current one.
    (1) the pure consonants (Ie., with PuLLi)
    க், ங், ச், ஞ், ட், ண், த், ந், ப், ம், ய், ர், ல், வ், ழ், ள், ற், ன்
    will be seen in the code chart as consonants
    (these are what are in Tol. grammar)
    Any grantha letters used for transliterating non-Tamil words will be
    stacked below it, of course the
    pure consonants there too.
    (2) there may not be gaps as seen today in Tamil chart,

    N. Ganesan

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