re: Request change name of (as yet unpublished) 1CD3 VEDIC SIGN NIHSHVASA

From: verdy_p (
Date: Mon Aug 17 2009 - 04:58:01 CDT

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    "Shriramana Sharma" wrote:
    > I wish to place my request for changing the name of the sign 1CD3 from
    > VEDIC SIGN NIHSHVASA to something more appropriate. It was proposed by
    > N3366 and is currently placed in Unicode 5.2.0 beta. I thought I should
    > make an attempt before Unicode 5.2.0 officially becomes a standard.
    > -----------BEGIN VEDIC TECHNICALITIES-----------
    > In Vedic rituals, each Sama mantra is sung in either five or seven
    > sections called bhakti-s. There are ritualistic specifications as to
    > (...)
    > bhakti. To denote the end of a bhakti, the double danda is used.
    > bhakti.
    > -----------END VEDIC TECHNICALITIES-----------
    > (For 1CD3 N3366 shows a rather slanting version of two dandas rather
    > than the normal straight vertical double-danda, but some printings also
    > have the normal vertical dandas.)
    > Now in the case where the same person does not participate in singing
    > both bhakti-s, after singing the first bhakti the person can of course
    > take a breath, but in the case where the the same person has to sing
    > both bhakti-s, he can NOT take a breath here, despite this superscript
    > double danda. Therefore the name of NIHSHVASA is misleading.

    Thanks a lot for explaining all this to subscribers of this list. This really makes sense.

    > Therefore I suggest changing the same of the character to something more
    > meaningful and appropriate like VEDIC SIGN NON-BREAKING SECTION SEPARATOR.

    Michael Everson said that it was too late after CD1 ballot to change the name, but suggested an annotation.

    However, I would really avoid using your suggested term "NON-BREAKING" here, because in Unicode, this is not
    interpreted the same way (non-breaking is used to deonte the positions where line breaks cannot occur, however this
    is is not what you are describing here, becaure the new character would effectively be used instead of a double
    danda, but apparently does not (apparently) forbids a line-break, and works mostly like a NON-SOFT word-BREAKING
    hyphen in alphabetic scripts (Latin, Greek, Cyrillic) which could eventually be used to join separate strophes of a
    Latin-written poem.

    So, I think that the more appropriate name that you suggested was "VEDIC SIGN NON-BREATHING SECTION SEPARATOR", i.e.
    with the word "NON-BREATHING" instead of a word that means "breating out".

    What you did not indicate here was if a line-break can and should still occur after this sign, or if the sign should
    preferably be written in the middle of a word that should remain written on the same line (even if this alters the
    number of syllables per line in a mantra).

    In addition, given that this sign can (according to your description) occur in the middle of a word, it should be
    annotated that it should be treated like a soft-hyphen in the middle of a Latin word, for full text searches
    purposes. This also means that the character should also be treated like other ignorables in full text searches, and
    that it does not participate to the normal orthography of words, normally written without it: it is notational only
    within mantras, and the question of its qualification as a punctuation sign is then debatable because traditional
    punctuation signs are breaking words within sentences, or are used to create compound words by attaching either
    several words, or to create like ":" in Swedish derived words by attaching prefixes/suffixes).

    From your description, it really looks like the sign prohibits a line break before it, but still creates a line-
    break opportunity after it. When mantras are cited in texts without using the poem presentation form, dandas and
    double dandas should still be present, but without line breaks after them (they work like full stop punctuation) and
    preferably no line-break before them: this would still be the case here with this character that acts like a variant
    of the usual double danda, but without meaning that it terminates a sentence, phrase or word.

    That's why it really looks very similar to a SOFT HYPHEN, except that soft hyphens are not displayed if the line-
    break does not occur on the breaking opportunity after it.

    If this Vedic sign should also be not displayed when a mantra is NOT cited in
    presentation styles (i.e. when
    there is no explicit or automatically inserted line-break after it, and when explicit line-break controls must be
    kept unchanged by the renderer, for example in HTML or XML where blanks can usually be "compressed"), should this
    sign still be rendered as the suggested superscript double danda in the middle of a word fully written on the same
    line of text ? Or can this sign which terminates the baktri-s be used as well between separate words participating
    to the same never-pausing "phrase" which is then just vocalized in a single musical sequence by two singers (in
    which case it is not acting like a true soft hyphen, because it may also be a word breaking opportunity, and would
    evidently allow a line-break) ? If the character can also be used in the middle of a word, should some blank
    (spaces, tabs, or line-breaking/page-breaking controls) be explicitly encoded (and rendered) after it when it
    effectively separate words?


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