Re: [indic] Chillu LLL and its encoding in UTS (was: Re: Written Tamil and Srivas' Theory)

From: N. Ganesan <>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 05:32:48 -0800


BTW, old Kannada has LLLA in Unicode as well, but wrongly named. Not only
that -
its codepoint is also wrong & does not match with the other 3 Dravdiain
LLLA position.

Just last, Suresh Kolichala et al., have asked for LLLA in Telugu script
& UTC has granted the encoding. Apart from a very few inscriptional
the real practical use for Telugu LLLA is transliteration from
Malayalam, Tamil Grantha, Old Kannada texts.
For example, the 20,000 page Dravidian holy hymns need to be
transcribed into Telugu lipi properly,

See Telugu pages that will need the new Telugu LLLA:

and for that, Telugu LLLA
is of immense use. Same thing will happen in Dravidian in Grantha
Unicode fonts are available.

N. Ganesan

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 5:23 AM, N. Ganesan <> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 8:08 AM, Mahesh T. Pai <> wrote:
> >
> > (Apologies to others for revisiting this, but...)
> >
> > Sinnathurai Srivas said on Thu, Feb 09, 2012 at 02:01:03AM -0800,:
> >
> > > Anusvara and Visarga are not required for Tamil.
> > > Tamil Grammar (first chapter) deals with writing system.
> > > Tamil writing system is different to mostly other Indic system.
> > > primarily, Tamil alphabet does not represent sounds, but represents
> > > Places of articulation.
> >
> > The limited (written) Tamil I know does not have a character / glyph
> > for the sound /zha/. (U+0D34 in Malayalam). Tamil instead uses the
> > (what I believe is the) equivalent of, U+0D33.
> >
> > The limited (spoken) Tamil does use the /zha/ sound, as in
> > "eezhu" (as in seven) and "vaazhum".
> >
> > Since the "Point of Articulation" for both /zha/ and /LLA/ are
> > different, I feel your theory that Tamil writing represents "places of
> > articulation" is wrong.
> >
> > Mind correcting me?
> >
> > I have not studied Tamil at any level. And I may be entirely wrong.
> >
> > (note - while the charts describe U+0D34 as "Malayalam letter LLLA",
> > /zha/ is a more appropriate representation of that sound - it is
> > pronounced without the tounge touching anywhere, and tip of the tounge
> > bent back like the glyph itself. The 0D33, OTOH is pronounced with the
> > tounge touching the upper part of the <palate?>)
> >
> Mahesh,
> what you are talking is coming from Malayalam movies, that only
> Malayalam has zha sound. What South Asia studies experts
> in the Western universities call as ethnocentrism,
> Actually, Malayalam evolved from old Tamil written in Grantha script.
> The Zha letter, called LLLA in Tamil, Grantha, Malayalam look the same,
> just like 25 letters or so looking the same in Tamil and Grantha blocks.
> BTW, there are Chillu letters for llla and nna letters for Grantha,
> and need to be encoded. These Dravidian chillus are unique to
> Grantha script, and neither Tamil nor Malayalam scripts have these
> Dravidian chillu letters. How to go about encoding Chillu letters
> for Grantha? See my proposal document: there are two choices,
> (a) Indic model using joiners (b) Chillu combining mark,
> my preference is chillu marker as joiners have problems in Malayalam
> fo example. The simple solution for Dravidian and Indo-Aryan
> letters' chillu in Grantha script in Unicode will be a chillu mark
> codepoint.
> BTW, most Tamils who know only Tamil script are not aware of
> Malayalam or Tamil Grantha chillus at all. The Tamils who taught
> John R. Marr Tamil tevaram did not tell him about chillus.
> In Grantha manuscripts of writing tevaram, the chillu nnn is clearly
> distinct, from anusvara sign which is formed from letter m.
> The "half consonant" nnn chillu different from anusvara m letter
> seems to have been not recognized by Marr. But Tamil epigraphists
> seeing the two have clarified.
> N. Ganesan
> > --
> > Mahesh T. Pai ||
> >
> >
Received on Sat Feb 18 2012 - 07:39:00 CST

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