Re: New property for reordrant dependent vowels reordering?

From: Eric Muller (
Date: Sun Sep 04 2005 - 12:30:43 CDT

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    Peter Constable wrote:

    >>(1) With the Mangal font, TTA + VIRAMA + TTHA + I should be two
    >>syllables because of the font's conjunct repertoire, i.e. as the
    >>be visible, the vowel should attach to the TTHA. This special case
    >>to a human)
    >Is *not* so obvious to a human. In fact, there are two writing
    >conventions that you will find in use in the event of a consonant
    >cluster where C1 has no half form and a conjunct ligature is not used.
    >One is to place I before the killed consonant, the other placing the I
    >after the killed consonant / before the live consonant.
    Indeed. See Rupert Snell, "Beginner's Hindi Script", p 82, in particular:

        The standardizing authorities have also condemned such clear and
        elegant conjunct format as <dya> for dya (preferring <da virama ya>)
        and <ddha> (preferring <da virama dha>); and they even recommended
        that an i-sign in a syllable such as ddhi should fall _between_ the
        two components of the conjunct, giving <da virama i ddha> instead of
        the well-established <i ddha>! The resulting <...da virama i
        ddha...> buddhimani ("wisdom") is a strange and inelegant form of
        <...i ddha ...>; but fortunately, Hindi's wiser public ignores such
        official recommendations and sticks to the old forms that have
        served so well for centuries.

    (<xx> is my transcription of a sequence of Devanagari glyphs) Also, in
    the bibliography:

        Kendriya Hindi Nidesalay, 1989 Devanagari lipi tatha hindi vartani
        ka manakikaran. Delhi: Education Department, Govt. of India. [The
        official line on script conventions, not all of which find favour in
        the present manual. Hindi medium.]

    If that picture is correct, then we really have two orthographies that
    use two different sets of conjuncts (one smaller than the other), and
    potentially two different sets of half forms. It's not such much the
    existence of conjuncts or half forms that matters, as the decision to
    use them in a given orthography.

    >In Windows Vista, Uniscribe is being updated to support either
    >convention. The font implementation will determine which is used by
    Assuming that Unicode supports both orthographies, it seems to me that
    the priority is to support each one correctly on its own. Arranging for
    coded character sequences created for one orthography to be convertible
    mechanically and reliably to the other orthography (e.g. at rendering
    time) is certainly nice, but I am nervous that this could compromise the
    reliable support of one or the other orthography.

    > One can always force the I to go after the killed consonant by
    >inserting ZWNJ; e.g., < TTA, VIRAMA, ZWNJ, TTHA, I >.
    It seems to me that you are going beyond what is currently spelled out
    by Unicode. The discussion about the joiners does not mention how they
    interact with vowel signs. Rule R15 says "when the dependent vowel I is
    used ... it is always written to the extreme left of the orthographic
    syllable." But we do not have a definition of orthographic cluster, and
    the discussion of ZWNJ does not say something like "ZWNJ terminates an
    orthographic cluster", it only describes the effect on the adjoining


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