From: John Hudson (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Feb 09 2007 - 00:09:29 CST
Lokesh Joshi wrote:
> thanx... When i went thru the Thai Language rules, the state diagram
> showed that this sequence may be illegal. Moreover ICU shows the
> sequence as illegal, showes CIRCLE below the THANTHAKHAT. :)
> I have just ordered VISTA, will be trying on that today itself.
I tested this sequence with the version of the Uniscribe Thai engine that ships with
Vista, and it works fine, i.e. no dotted cirles.* It is important to make a distinction
between what may be a grammatically or phonologically invalid sequence in a particular
*language* and what may in fact be a perfectly valid combination of characters according
the the general rules of the script. I would say that in the general rules of the Thai
script the sequence -- a letter plus a vowel sign plus a secondary sign -- is valid even
if it is linguistically nonsensical in the Thai or Pali languages (one of the functions of
thanthakhat is to mark final consonants in Pali).
Successful writing systems tend to get adapted for multiple languages, and it is dangerous
to make assumptions about what is valid for a script based on how it is used for certain
languages. My own view is that the only restrictions on validity of character sequences
should be technical ones, and every attempt should be made to keep these to a minimum.
Ideally, any combination of any marks should be applicable to any base character in any
script, and it should be up to the font to try to figure out a sensible way to display
such sequences. I'm wary of shaping engines trying to perform what are, in effect,
spellchecking functions. If a Thai spellchecker wants to tell me that <0E25, 0E37, 0E4C>
is invalid, that's fine, but if a Thai script engine won't let me display it, then I think
that is a flaw in the engine.
* This didn't surprise me, since Peter Constable at MS is particularly knowledgeable about
the Thai script and sensitive to minority language issues.
-- Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com Vancouver, BC firstname.lastname@example.org Marie Antoinette was a woman whose core values were chocolate, sex, love, nature and Japanese ceramics. Frankly, there are worse principles of government than that. - Karen Burshtein
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