From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jul 06 2008 - 03:47:48 CDT
Christopher Fynn wrote:
> N3480 Proposal to add four characters for Kashmiri to the BMP
> of the UCS <http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n3480.pdf>
> I'm not sure why you need the proposed precomposed
> "DEVANAGARI LETTER UE" and "DEVANAGARI LETTER UUE"
> Since these two could be easily represented by combining
> U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A with the proposed
> "DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UE" and "DEVANAGARI VOWEL SIGN UUE"
You have probably not read the justifications given in the proposal. UE is a
single short vowel, made distinct from short vowel U; UUE is the associated
They are certainly not letter A + one of the two vowel signs. The purpose is
to have them treated exactly like other Devanagari independant vowels that
are coded also without decomposing them into a base vowel A plus another
vowel sign. The independant letter A does not behave in Devanagari like
other consonant letters: its "implicit" vowel is not overridable by a vowel
sign to create another independant letter, but each vowel creates its own
base letter. This model is preserved in the proposal.
In fact, if you look at it more closely, the proposed UE (ü, a variant of u)
and UUE (û or long ü) in Devanagari are taking the fact that they has been
for now encoded by borrowing the Gurmukhi vowel signs for U and UU, that
also had their own independant vowel forms (and there two, the independant
vowels are not encoded using independant Gurmukhi letter A plus a vowel
Why is it proposed for encoding? That's most probably because the
transcription between Indic scripts cause problems, as such borrowing pose a
problem for the transciprtion of the Gurmukhi vowels: if you consider the
romanization of the Gurmukhi vowel signs, they would translate as U and UU
instead of the expected UE and UUE, so you would loose the distinction made
in Kashmiri (and preserved when written in Devenagari) between U and UE, or
between UU and UUE.
Why do you want to break the existing model in Devanagari by trying to
decompose base letters for independant vowels, into another independant
vowel A plus a vowel sign modifier? This has not been made in Devanagari for
all other independant vowels.
It really looks like the addition of distinction between U and UE, or
between UU and UUE, is essential for Kashmiri even if it is not needed for
Hindi or Sanskrit. So effectively Kashmiri needs the two other vowels signs
and, for consistency of the Devanagari script, also the associated
independant vowels letters.
Your suggestion would be valid, if all other Devanagari independant vowels
where treated as being like if they were in fact composed with a base
"consonnant" letter A (the unpronounced/missing consonnant plus the implicit
vowel A) plus an optional vowel sign. This was not done in Devanagari: those
independant vowels other than A are not decomposed. There's no reason to
decompose them for the case of the Kashmiri variants.
That's the way I understand it. The proposal is preserving the consistancy.
In fact I would not like to see independant letters UE and UUE decomposed
the way you propose using letter A+vowel sign: you are loosing the fact that
these independant letters are in fact variants of independant U and UU
It would probably be better to use the existing letters U and UU with a
visarga for denoting these variants, but I'm quite sure that there exsts
cases where visargas are used in Sanskrit (or in other languages written
with Devanagari) that do not mean that they are creating variants of the
vowel, but instead variants of the base consonnant of the akshara. The kind
of modification is also not a nasalisation (so an anusvara can't be used to
note these phonetic vowel variants, and in fact the Kashmiri vowels can also
be used with or without nasalisation, meaning that anusvara must remain
usable separately with them).
You could have also proposed to not encode the long vowels given that they
"look" exactly like pairs of short vowels: it would have been enough to add
another UE vowel sign after encoding the first UE vowel sign or independant
letter UE. But here also this would contradict the encoding model for the
rest of the Devanagari script (and of other Indic scripts as well).
For this reason, I don't see any defect in the proposal, and also think
that, under the given justificiations, FOUR characters need to be encoded,
and not just two or three. It is interesting also to read the introduction
to the Devanagari script in TUS (since main version 2.0 and up to current
version 5.0 of the book).
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