Re: Lao Script Block - Missing Letters

From: Richard Wordingham (
Date: Sun May 29 2011 - 19:05:31 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Lao Script Block - Missing Letters"

    On Mon, 30 May 2011 00:07:35 +0530
    Vinodh Rajan <> wrote:

    > The Lao equivalent of the Thai Phinthu (Virama) is not encoded.
    > Neither is the Lao equivalent of the Indic NNA. I couldn't find both
    > the characters in the Lao code Chart :
    > (There are several other Characters which I couldn't locate in the
    > Lao code chart )
    > Given that Lao entered the UCS at a very early date,
    > Are these characters currently not encoded in Lao ? or are they
    > considered variants of any of the already encoded characters ?

    They are not encoded. Whether for tact or by ignorance, I do not
    know. Possibly they might have been omitted as not commercially
    significant - there was a time when Unicode was not intended to
    ultimately encode every script.

    According to Gregory Kourilsky, the missing consonants (for Sanskrit as
    well as Pali), along with niggahita, which is encoded, were added by the
    Buddhist Institute in the 1930s.

    Whether this should count as an addition or a restoration is debatable,
    for many of these characters are attested in the older form of the
    Lao script, the Thai Noi script - e.g. the description in Dhawaj
    Poonotoke's MA thesis 'Thainoi Palaeography' (available at ),
    especially the table on p71, which has dates BE (= AD + 543) in the
    second column. Some of the glyph differences from the modern forms are

    Phinthu will be an addition - it seems to be a recent addition to the
    Thai script. The Thai Noi examples use subscript consonants, though
    how consistently I do not know.


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