Re: Tamil sha (U+0BB6) - deprecate it?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Jun 28 2005 - 12:04:35 CDT

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    On 28/06/2005 09:38, Antoine Leca wrote:

    >On Tuesday, June 28th, 2005 10:03Z Peter Kirk wrote:
    >>But it lists not just the six languages you mentioned before
    >>("Finnish, Estonian, Sami, Hungarian, Basque, and Etruscan" -
    >>But many of the languages included, but not in your list of
    >>six, are not imports at all but are languages of indigenous peoples
    >>who have not migrated for thousands of years.
    >I am not sure what is your point (too many but's to my taste), however I
    >believe the present-day speakers of the so-called Basque language will
    >object loudly if you pretend their language is "imported" ;-).

    I did not say or mean that these six languages are imports. The sentence
    you quoted refers to languages not in the list of six. Hungarian is an
    import, although more than a millennium ago now. As far as I know the
    others are indigenous. My point was that there are many other non-IE
    languages indigenous to Europe, as defined by Everson, but not listed by

    I did wonder if Everson was referring to languages of the European
    Union. But if so, he has omitted Maltese, and Turkish as spoken in the
    northern part of Cyprus whose EU status is rather poorly defined.
    Neither of these is strictly indigenous, but they do have histories of
    many centuries in their current territories.

    I suppose the relevance to the current discussion is that there can be
    no easy correlation between language family and geographical area. So,
    while I would agree that very probably the indigenous languages of much
    of India were closely related to Tamil, that is by no means an argument
    that Sanskrit is from the same language family. It is certainly the
    majority view of scholars that Indo-European languages, the ancestors of
    Sanskrit, were brought to India by Aryan invaders who oppressed the
    indigenous peoples, the ancestors of the Tamils and India's other
    Dravidian minorities (who are visibly racially distinct). And this
    oppression continues, at least as perceived by Srivas and others. These
    issues of perceived oppression and linguistic imperialism are very real
    and should not be ignored by the Unicode community. Nevertheless, if
    U+0BB6 is actually used in writing, even if not by some purists, it does
    need to be encoded and should not be deprecated.

    >OTOH and to keep trolling, I consider present so-called English to be much
    >more an import from the other side of the ocean, rather than an evolution of
    >the language I was taught in the last century.
    >Do they [em,im]migrate?
    Well, some of us try to preserve the English language more or less as
    you learned it! However, it is impossible for any language to completely
    resist the tide of loan words from across the Atlantic.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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