Re: Why wasn't it possible to encode a coeng-like joiner for Tibetan?

From: Shriramana Sharma <>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:44:50 +0530

On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 9:54 AM, Christopher Fynn <> wrote:
> In Unicode v1 Tibetan was encoded on the Indic model - but in practice
> there were problems found with this and Tibetan was removed and later
> re-encoded.

I'd like to know what exact "problems". Often I hear "there are
problems" in relation to various encoding models adopted for specific
scripts, but no such problem is presented for examination.

>> But even for Devanagari, if it were not for
>> Sanskrit, a visible virama is almost never used for Hindi, the
>> prevalent language, and it is only that Devanagari is also heavily
>> used for Sanskrit and the thing about maintaining uniformity with
>> other Indic scripts that the visible function and the joining function
>> were united in a single character.
> But afaik in Hindi etc. it is legal to use a visible virama instead of
> joining letters. In Tibetan this is not so (except when writing
> Sanskrit)

I'm not sure what you mean by it being "legal" to use a visible
virama. If सुरक्षा (surakṣaa = protection) were written सुरक् षा
(ignore the space in between) any Hindi reader would say "hey who
wrote like this". It would be comprehensible, but it would not be
considered accepted orthography. I am not sure how the Tibetan
situation would be different and how it would be "illegal" (and what
exactly "illegal" would mean).

> You can look on the Tibetan encoding as a compromise between the two
> ideas - but it works well and there is no ambiguity.

OK so it's a compromise to satisfy everyone all around? So that means
its validity as a precedent for other perhaps less-controversial
scripts diminishes.

Received on Thu Apr 11 2013 - 00:18:11 CDT

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