Re: Devanagari composing help needed

From: Ambarish Sridharanarayanan (
Date: Fri Jun 08 2007 - 01:25:16 CDT

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    John Hudson wrote:
    > Eric Muller wrote:
    >> I think that what Ambarish is telling is us is that what Unicode has
    >> described as RA_sub (see rule R6 in section 9.1), aka vattu in
    >> OpenType, should really considered as made of two parts, one stroke
    >> for RA and one stroke for a halant.
    >> In everything I have seen from Unicode and OpenType, vattu is viewed
    >> as an atomic object, and is graphically depicted as two connected
    >> strokes. Is it common to display a vattu as two disconnected strokes?
    > No, it is not common, although arguably the floating ^ rakar (vattu)
    > might have originally derived from a combination of a
    > low-left-to-high-right 'RA_sub' stroke and high-left-to-low-right
    > halant stroke. Even in manuscript, though, there would have been
    > little impetus to write them separately: why lift the pen when you
    > don't need to?

    I think this really is the key. I wasn't familiar with the 9.1 rendering
    rules, but re-reading them, I believe that the rendering rules are written
    from the point of view of, ahem, rendering, but R6-R8 make most logical
    sense when RA_sub is viewed a combination of the RA stroke and a virama.
    FWIW, the latter viewpoint is the "standard" viewpoint in schools in India.

    Here's some more motivation: among the consonants, the consonants that don't
    have half-forms are exactly the ones that take the extra virama stroke when
    combining with a RA_sub. In those cases the dead-form is used instead of the
    half-form, and the dead-form includes an explicit virama.

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