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From: Mijan (mijan@bangladesh.net)
Date: Mon Mar 03 2003 - 15:57:44 EST

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: (no subject)"


    I read with interest about the japhalaa debate in Bangla and I have joined you
    to answer this question

    I understand that unicode is supposed to represent the language, not the way it
    is written.
    This is how bengali is currently described in unicode, and obviously it seems
    to work well for the most part.
    I am convinced that this needs to be extended for cases that cannot be
    represented in unicode or have ambiguous interpretation on how it should be
    rendered as is the case of ya-phalaa.
    Let's consider the ra+virama+ya case. In the mostpart the ra+virama+ya is
    displayed as ya+reph. This obviously seems to be an
    instance of ambiguous interpretation because ra+virama+ya could also represents
    ra+ja-phalaa. ya+reph and ra+ja-phalaa are used in different words and have
    different meaning.
    Form this you see that ja-phalaa is not equivalent to virama-ya and is better
    as a separate letter in Unicode. We always thought of ya-phalaa as separate

    Now to you questions on this:

    Michael Everson wrote on 02 March 2003 13:22:

    > >1. The sequence 'Vowel+Virama+Ya...' is illogical to scholars of
    > >Bengali and indeed Indic languages in general.
    > I refuted this yesterday by indication that this usage is an
    > innovation.

    I think that only "scholars of Bengali" can have correct place to answer that!
    > >2. Such sequences are not semantically equivalent to the intended
    > ... sentence fragment.

    I think Andy meant 'not equivalent to vowels with ya-phalaa'

    > >3. There are no other cases of a Vowel+Virama combination in the
    > >Unicode encoding model.
    > Yes, there are. Khmer.

    I do not understand Khmer but I see that it does not use the same 'encoding
    model'. Please look, you will see that you were wrong to use Khmer as an

    > >4. Yaphalaa is not equivalent to 'Virama+Ya'
    > Yes, it is, as I showed yesterday.

    No one can show that Virama+Ya is the same as ya-phalaa because it is not!.
    Please understand that ya-phalaa is originally an alternative form of 'Sanskrit
    letter Ya'. Now days 'Sanskrit letter Ya' is represented as YYA (Ya with nukta)
    in Bengali words. Bengali 'Ya' has a separate meaning and is pronounced 'Ja'.

    The origin of ya-phalaa is clear but the present day Bengali equivalent letter
    is not. No one can be sure if ya-phalaa is a form of Ya or YYa. I say that it
    is neither. Now days ya-phalaa has a very different purpose. It is used to
    alter the pronunciation of letters that proceed it or vowels that come after
    > >5. ISCII implementations encode these letters as separate characters
    > >corresponding to the Devanagari Candra A & E. Unicode should follow
    > >the example of these implementations.
    > No, it shouldn't. Unicode has a method for writing these sequences
    > already and a second method for doing so should not be introduced.
    > Use mapping tables to exchange ISCII and Unicode data.

    I have been taught to keep things simple when coding software. If adding
    letters to the Bengali code space do this, then it will be better.

    I hope that this helps you
    Best regards

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