Re: [indic] Re: [unicode] Re: Ligatures For Indic languages

From: Rahul Bhalerao (
Date: Tue Jun 17 2008 - 14:50:26 CDT

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    On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 9:42 PM, Harshula <> wrote:
    > On Tue, 2008-06-17 at 16:16 +0530, Rahul Bhalerao wrote:
    >> Actually there isn't much difference between the orthography of
    >> Sinhala script from that of Indian scripts.
    >> But the rendering and input methods have significant differences.
    >> The difference is in Indian scripts conjunct formation is of form:
    >> Consonant + Virama + Consonant
    >> The similar conjunct formation for Sinhala uses the sequence:
    >> Consonant + Virama + ZWJ + Consonant
    >> This additional ZWJ, (IMO although not necessary,) was added in a
    >> standard adopted by Govt. and industry in Srilanka and fonts were
    >> developed with this logic.
    > Clearly, you are not familiar with Sinhala orthography. In modern
    > Sinhala orthography, consonant clusters do not strictly form ligatures.
    > However, a few consonant clusters are frequently ligated and a few
    > consonant clusters infrequently ligated. Furthermore, the less
    > frequently used 'touching letter' consonant cluster ligatures, used by
    > Pali literature, must also be accommodated. Therefore, it is only
    > logical for CC to map to non-ligated consonant clusters by default.

    Linguistically, Sinhala falls under brahmi family of scripts, which is
    same as most of other Indian scripts, thus orthography is not much
    different, shapes may.
    Also the issue of few clusters being ligated or non-legated are common
    among many Indic scripts. You may use the ligated form or may not in
    many cases.

    The unusual use of ZWJ first came to my notice, when I worked on
    fixing 'repaya' form issues with lklug font two years back. It was
    bit confusing in the beginning since orthography was same as rest of
    the Indic scripts 'reph' form, until I went through the govt. standard
    for the OpenType font rendering for Sinhala. I think 'ZWJ' is the only
    major link where rendering and input in Sinhala are 'connected' (as
    said earlier).

    > Yes, there is a consonant cluster that can be represented in all three
    > forms (non-ligated, conjunct ligature, touching ligature).
    >> The ZWJ is abstracted from user by adding it automatically through
    >> input methods like wijesekera. The inclusion of ZWJ also removes the
    >> 'reph' processing for sinhala 'repaya'.
    >> I think these are the only essential differences.
    > If you want to learn about Sinhala orthography, you can start by
    > reading:
    > If you need further help, feel free to email me.
    > cya,
    > #


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