Re: Letters for Indic transliteration

From: Richard Wordingham (
Date: Mon Jul 18 2005 - 12:39:48 CDT

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    Andreas Prilop wrote:

    > The Unicode range "Latin Extended Additional" includes many letters
    > marked for "Indic transliteration". None of these are really necessary
    > because you can use combining marks such as U+0323 and U+0325.
    > Since so many are precomposed, I suspect the intention was to include
    > all necessary letters for Indic transliteration. However, four letters
    > (= eight characters) with ring below are missing and two other letters
    > (= four characters) do not exist in transliteration.
    > Indic letters Transliteration
    > 090B 098B 0D0B R with ring below -- --
    > 090C 098C 0D0C L with ring below -- --
    > 0933 -- 0D33 L with dot below 1E36 1E37
    > 095C 09DC -- R with dot below 1E5A 1E5B
    > 0960 09E0 0D60 R with ring below and macron -- --
    > 0961 09E1 0D61 L with ring below and macron -- --
    > -- -- -- L with dot below and macron 1E38 1E39
    > -- -- -- R with dot below and macron 1E5C 1E5D
    > The precomposed characters 1E38, 1E39, 1E5C, 1E5D suggest that
    > the Unicode Consortium confused the letters "with dot below"
    > (denoting retroflex/cerebral consonants) and "with ring below"
    > (denoting vocalic R and L).

    > - ISO 15919:2001 "Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts
    > into Latin characters"

    I wouldn't call it confusion, at least not on the part of the Unicode
    Consortium. There is an old tradition of using a dot below to indicate
    vocalisation. I know I encountered it (and in the context of Sanskrit and
    Proto-Indo-European) before I encountered the IPA symbol ring below. The
    1969 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology uses dot below
    for both Sanskrit and PIE. Indeed I recall reading of some dismay at ISO
    15919 because fonts with r with dot below (with and without macron) had to
    be supplemented with r with ring below (with and without macron).

    Underdotted l is also used to transcribe the Vedic/Pali consonant
    corresponding to retroflex da - isn't the Vedic/Pali consonant plain U+0933?


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