Tamil Non-Tamil 2-Dot Visarga

From: Richard Wordingham (richard.wordingham@ntlworld.com)
Date: Sun Sep 11 2005 - 05:26:20 CDT

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    Is there any reason for not adding what appears to be a 2-dot visarga to the
    Tamil script? While, FWIW, I have no evidence that it occurs in Tamil, it
    frequently occurs in Sanskrit and Saurashtra texts written in the Tamil
    scripts. There are three issues that I can see:

    1) It seems that some writers simply use the similar looking colon (U+003A).
    I believe it is regarded as bad practice to use this sort of punctuation as
    a letter. The 2-dot visarga occurs word-internally in Saurashtra.

    2) It might possibly be a glyph variant of aytham. That seems unlikely -
    has anyone examples of them both appearing, ideally in the same font, in
    text that is a mixture of the Sanskrit and Tamil languages or the Saurashtra
    and Tamil languages?

    3) Spoofing and IDN. ASCII colon and the Tamil-script 2-dot visarga are
    very similar. However, would a colon be allowed inside a Tamil script name?

    The description of the character should probably say something like
    'Sanskrit, Saurashtra, not Tamil'. I'd prefer something stronger, like
    'Indic languages, not Dravidian', but:
    (a) I'm not sure it's actually true.
    (b) Many people don't know the use of 'Indic' to refer to a family of
    Indo-European languages, and using it would be as confusing to some as the
    true statement, 'Strine is not an Australian language'. ('Strine' = English
    as spoken in Australia; 'Australian' = to do with the Australian language


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