Re: Feedback on PR-104

From: Sinnathurai Srivas (
Date: Mon Aug 13 2007 - 10:21:45 CDT

  • Next message: Christopher Fynn: "Re: Feedback on PR-104"

    I can follow your line of thought.

    However, in Tamil, the only one letter, x, is treated as consonant/conjunct
    ksh by Unicode causes unnecessary and immence pain for lingual programming.
    Yet, the Grammar explicitly avoids conjuncts, while Unicode explicitly
    allocates conjunct to Tamil.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Maxwell" <>
    To: <>; "Unicode Mailing List" <>
    Cc: "Mark Davis" <>; "Michael Maxwell"
    Sent: 13 August 2007 15:33
    Subject: RE: Feedback on PR-104

    > [Apologies if this should not go to both the Indic and the Unicode mailing
    > lists--I'm using the original cc list, but let me know if this is
    > inappropriate!]
    > Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:
    >> Tamil already defines NEAR-VOICELESS VOWELS, which
    >> CONTRADICTS the conjunct theory. With a sopisticated speech
    >> spectrum analiser, this Grammar can be proved as valid.
    > I don't understand why this is relevant. Unicode is about written
    > scripts, not about pronunciation. There are dialects of Spanish that have
    > voiceless vowels, or perhaps you'd call them near-voiceless. (For any
    > linguists here, devoicing of vowels in e.g. Ecuadorian Sierra Spanish
    > occurs between voiceless consonants, particularly if the vowel is
    > unstressed. E.g. the second /e/ in necesario "necessary".) Spanish is
    > written the same regardless of whether the vowels are voiced, and indeed,
    > would be written if (as I suspect) the voiceless vowel is sometimes
    > omitted entirely. The rule in question is purely allophonic, and does not
    > cause a spelling issue for Spanish, much less an encoding issue.
    > My suspicion is that any voiceless or semi-voiced vowels in Tamil,
    > particularly these (which I would guess to be epenthetic) are purely
    > allophonic, and are not reflected in written Tamil. The issue of whether
    > the consonants in question are written as conjuncts or not is therefore
    > surely orthogonal to the phonetics of the issue. Putting it differently,
    > the writing system of Tamil is what it is, regardless of the detailed
    > phonetics, or even the 'phonemics'.
    > Mike Maxwell
    > CASL/ U Md

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