Re: Letters for Indic transliteration

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Jul 18 2005 - 14:52:10 CDT

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    Andreas Prilop wrote:

    > The Unicode range "Latin Extended Additional" includes many letters
    > marked for "Indic transliteration". None of these are really necessary
    > because you can use combining marks such as U+0323 and U+0325.


    > The precomposed characters 1E38, 1E39, 1E5C, 1E5D suggest that
    > the Unicode Consortium confused the letters "with dot below"
    > (denoting retroflex/cerebral consonants) and "with ring below"
    > (denoting vocalic R and L).

    Actually, the *Unicode Consortium* did not confuse these things.

    All characters in the range U+1E00..U+1E99 and U+1EA0..U+1EF9
    (precomposed Vietnamese letters) were in DIS-1 of ISO 10646-1
    dating from 1991 and were added to the Unicode Standard as the
    result of the merger of Unicode 1.0 and 10646 in the period
    1992-1993. None of these characters were in the Unicode 1.0
    repertoire, as that standard did indeed expect that all such
    combinations would simply make use of the combining marks.

    As for the annotations in the names list, "Indic transliteration",
    those are to give some indication of the original intended
    field of use which was the rationale for the inclusion of
    these characters in the 10646-1 repertoire in the first place.
    A note "Indic transliteration" should not be over-interpreted
    as meaning "Sufficient for all Indic transliteration and
    intended for Sanskrit syllabic liquids, despite the fact that
    established transliterations now use dot below for retroflex
    articulation and ring below for vocalization, but we're confused
    and don't care about conventions, so insist that you use the
    wrong forms." ;-)

    Instead, just think of it as a guidepost regarding why those
    characters got in (and they were, indeed, culled from some of
    the kinds of sources Richard Wordingham mentions), but then go
    ahead and do the right thing to represent Indic transliteration
    correctly for whatever orthographic tradition you are following.


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