Re: Request change name of (as yet unpublished) 1CD3 VEDIC SIGN NIHSHVASA

From: Shriramana Sharma (
Date: Mon Aug 17 2009 - 10:19:11 CDT

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    On 2009-Aug-17 15:28, verdy_p wrote:
    > Thanks a lot for explaining all this to subscribers of this list. This really makes sense.

    I'm glad someone was benefited. :)

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

    I know. Perhaps I should have got in touch with him earlier than this.
    But better late than never...

    > 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,

    I don't get it. I never said anything about line breaks. I agree that I
    have not seen this character at the end of a line, nor at the beginning
    of a line. As it is intended that the syllables preceding and following
    this mark should be pronounced without any gap in between, perhaps the
    publishers of the books I saw also refrained from *printing* them
    without any gap in between.

    > 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.

    Sorry, I am not acquainted with this character.

    > 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".

    No. That would be inappropriate too, since if the reciter of the
    previous bhakti does not have to continue in the next bhakti, he can
    breathe at this point. The proper terminology, if NON-BREAKING is
    inappropriate, would be NON-PAUSING. I hope that has no other
    significance in Unicode since the word pause is usually a language
    feature, not a script feature.

    > 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).

    Well I think you've gotten an incomplete idea of what's going on. In
    Vedic mantra-s, unlike in poetry of English or other languages, the
    orthography is not really an important aspect. The traditional
    practitioners of the Veda attach more importance to learning by hearing
    and imitating rather than by reading, since there are many subtle
    aspects to the chanting of the Veda which are not perfectly
    representable by any script.

    So there is no rule that each "line" of a mantra (whatever that means)
    should be written in a single physical line, unlike in English, where
    one would not accept the running-into of lines like:

    Tiger, tiger, burning bright in the forests of the night! What immortal
    hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry.

    (with apologies to Mr Blake!)

    That said, it is often true that modern typesetters of Vedic books
    prefer to print only a half-verse or quarter-verse, the earlier being
    preferred if possible, in a single physical printing line. But this is
    certain not true with many other printings of the Veda or with manuscripts.

    > annotated that it should be treated like a soft-hyphen in the middle of a Latin word, for full text searches
    > purposes. ...
    > several words, or to create like ":" in Swedish derived words by attaching prefixes/suffixes).

    I am sorry you lost me there. I am not fully familiar with the behaviour
    of soft-hyphen or many of the other things you state.

    > 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 ?

    If you can explain to me, perhaps off-list, what you intend by
    presentation style etc, perhaps I can better answer that question. I can
    only now say that this "superscript double danda" (which I call
    superscript only because it stands well above the baseline and in
    smaller size) is always written in Sama mantra-s wherever it is required.

    > 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?

    Again, I am unable to follow you. I suggest you explain this to me in
    small sentences in more detail off-list where we can continue this
    discussion to the best of my ability.

    Shriramana Sharma.

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