Addendum on Cillu letters in related scripts

From: N. Ganesan (
Date: Wed Apr 19 2006 - 05:14:48 CST

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    Addendum on Cillu letters in related scripts

    While thinking/researching about Cillu letters of Malayalam,
    here is some additional data to consider.
    "Tuncattu Eluttaccan, ascribed to 16th century if often
    called the father of modern Malayalam. It is in his
    Ramayana and Bharata we find the language of Kerala
    establishing itself in its modern form."
    Eluttaccan means "Father of (Malayalam) letters".
    Ezuttu (tamil/malayalam) = letters/writing,
    accan = father.

    In the Tamil Grantha script (used for writing Sanskrit
    texts in Tamil Nadu), there are 22 cillu letters.
    Malayalam in 16th 17th centuries originated from
    this Grantha script. Obviously, we do not seek 22 code
    points in the Grantha script code chart. Cillus in the
    Tamil Grantha script are on:
    k, g, ng, c, j, nj, .t, .d, .n, t, d
    n, p, b, m, y, r, v, sh, ss, s, h

    Please add this important 22 cillu info
    along with the cillu data and glyphs
    for 9 Malayalam cillus.
    Obviously, cillu code-points individually
    are impossible, and can be ruled out.

    Instead of loading up joiners' (zwxj)
    functionality (just for Malayalam alone amongst Indic)
    a cillu marker code-point is suggested.
    Dravidian scripts have examples of some more markers'
    examples in document submitted to UTC
    for consideration. Cillus can appear word-terminally
    or medially.

    Let CM = cillu-marker,
    then cillu_NN for example will be [NNA], [CM]
    cillu_N for example will be [NA], [CM]
    cillu_M for example will be [MA], [CM]
    and so on.

    N. Ganesan

    PS: Sri. Cibu Johny's page:
    I expressed my doubts a day or two earlier,
    "A word like പന്ത്‌രണ്ട് 'pantraNT' in Tamil will be 'pantiraNTu'
    (if pattu '10' get modified for poetic purposes as pantu (in grammar
    it's called melittal vikaaram) then pantiraNTu could mean
    either as '12' or 'ball two'. Isn't it same in Malayalam?"

    Just now looking at documents submitted for UTC
    on Malayalam,
    L2/05-354 (Chillu and Semivowel examples
    (this is an addendum to L2/05-308) ) from Rachana group
    starts with
    "Cibu lodged some examples supposedly showing
    a contrastive distribution, and additionally claims
    that all his examples are words. In reality, these contrived
    examples are not words and cannot be found
    either in Malayalam or Sanskrit dictionaries. They are
    merely unnaturally created expressions." And, examples
    follow for 2 pages in the document (L2/05-354).
    So, the contrastive meanings due to presence/absence
    of cillus is doubtful.

    Has L2/05-354 been discussed in Indic list already? If so, pl. let me know.
    Which month archives?

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