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Re: [WMASTERS] Re: Your proposals for charset and grantha


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    Dear Kalyan,

    Thanks for your comments and I appreciate it.
    Let me answer questions and I've some questions myself as well..

@Dear Selva:
@Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to share your ideas.
@Here are my comments  (purely personal views) on your proposals and the
@replacement of granthas:
@usage of aq to generate the ha and other aspirated sounds looks OK.

    I'm glad it didn't coem across too awkward.

@For all others, with your proposed systems, I cannot imagine myself 
@pronouncing the word correctly without prior knowledge of how it is
@spelt in other languages 
@(try to write the example of your II part -Magic Johnson using
@your system with four replacements for Ma, gi, ja, sa -and ask your 
@kid or friends to pronounce it! )

   I did but only with a few and they could be biased.
   Any symbol ( single letter or a combination of letters) have to
   be learned and this goes even for native tamil letters occuring
   in tamil words. Your point is based on prior exposure, it appears
   more opaque, which is natural ( in any system). 
   I hope you're not going to say that by merely looking at sri
   people are going to pronounce sri.

   About Magic Johnson in the first scheme ( without grantha letters), 
   there is absolutely no problem, except for the initial
   Ekaarath thiriboli. In w/o grantha system it will be 
   maa(nj)cik njcAnsan. I don't find it terrible, but that may be because
   I might have got used to it already.
   ( remember we don't have to use sarasvathi s for -can' ending.)

@With some initial difficulty I may digest the replacement for sha also

   This tells me you really try to understand and I thank you for that.
   That is the key, there should be an open mind.

@but [(ny)(c)] for ja appears very strange.

   I'm really surprised by this comment. Please see how you
   write and pronounce pure tamil words like : panju(cotton),
   kenju(beg), thanjaavUr , thanjai ( short form of thanjaavUr),
   inji (ginger). The (ny)(c) combination produces *j* though there
   will be a slight nasal sound but thats okay for representing
   non-tamil words. because this nasal sound should be curtailed
   I've included the ny within brackets when it occurs in the
   middle or end of a word like in Taj Mahal = thaa(ny)c makaal.
   Try it as few times as 10 and you'll probably appreciate the system
@new stlyle tamil
@Interesting but I am not very convinced with the arguments.
@The proposals are very reminiscent of transliterated tamil with
@markers. I never felt comfortable reading romanized tamil texts with 

    Here I don't understand your comments. I've actually used 
    four of the standard grantha letters ( S,sh,j,h) plus sri
    and the only grantha letter I've omitted is ksha and I think this
    is a very sensible suggestion. Tell me why we need ksha ?
    Can you cite 10 commonly used words employing ksha ? 
    In how many words we use it ? Can't we write with k+sha ?
    Even in Devanagari people will migrate to separation of the
    huge number of clubbed consonants. I don't understand why  there
    still people who want to hang on to this uselss word which if
    needed can be rendered very well by other means.

    I've suggested adding two new phonemes 'f' and a new vowel
    which sounds in between E and a. To represent these two we
    still need 6 new basic forms. f,fa,fu,fU, a new irattaik-kombu, 
    and a new A when it occurs as a vowel at the beginning [ like
    we use kaal and vowel a]
@these markers. It is OK for few words or lines. But not a full page
@text. (I heard that even western indologists prefer to read
@long tamil texts in tamil rather than in transliterated tamil with

    This comment really alarms me !! What is the purpose of 
    grantha letters in tamil ? To use full page full of these ??!!!
    Are you thinking of writing sanskrit in tamil script with
    a few sprinkling of tamil ?? Don't you think this is precisely the
    fear and suspicion of those who totally oppose grantha ?

    Granthas are to be sparingly used, may be for names like 
    Janaki, John, January, June etc.. and a few words like janatha
    etc. certainly not a whole page or even a paragarah.
    Where a work is going to explain sanskrit or persian or
    arabic original, then a consistent system should be 
    introduced at the beginning of such works.

@For foreign words, I would rather quote them as such (e.g
@Joseph Priestley using roman letters instead of cOceppu piriicuttili) 
@or use equivalent tamil words if they exist. 

     I'm surpised you say this living where you do !
     My name (Selvakumar) has all the phonemes in English,
     but still very very few pronounce it correctly. 
     The main reason is, I think, some part of a word or name
    has to be given stress as is the general practice and they
    are not used to giving a more or less uniform stress for the
    whole ( long) word. Thus they end up saying selWAEYkmr or
    selv'kOOOmr. Balsubramaniam or Pazaniyappan, or any number of
    such names used in TN. 
    Secondly, we *can* write in tamil with  less distortion
    though still not quite satisfactory like cOcep prIcitli
    but ending in pu and spacing the consonants with
    vowels is considered closer to tamil pronounciation
    ( just like in other languages; Japanese beat the words to fit
    their pattern, Germans and French kill or mispronounce
    English they choose.. ). Why on earth are *some* tamils
    find it difficult to understand this point ? Honestly
    I don't understand. What is used in tamil is *for tamils*
    for denoting whatever they want in the manner tamil language
    is used. cOceppu pirIcuttili is perfectly okay. The word
    Joseph is probably pronounced as Yakoob or Jacob etc. in
    different languages. Using roman letters were to be okay
    we can adopt for names like Jagannathan and Janaki too, 
    can't we ? We don't need granthas then. 
@I am not a fan of blind transliterations and have no reservations in
@writing bilingual texts if they serve the purpose accurately.

    Where bilingual is okay, we don't need granthas 
    by your own argument.
@charset gif:
@Certainly an interesting proposition.


@i) If you are going to include greek letters, mu alone may not do the
@Chemists like me need many more and would rather use a symbol font
@to get the entire collection.

   many professions use greek symbols, and the idea is not to
   use it for  mathematical or scientific purposes, but for denoting
   a basic kIzvaay length unit as in micro-meter. We can also use
   tamil mai-mI or maik-mI or whatever.. I'm not hung on mu :-)

@ii) tamil numerals. Have them either  as a complete set or better
@use the slots for other equally useful glyphs. Why half-way leaving out
@10, 100 and 1000?

   We use place system even when using tamil numerals. In the very old
   days people used these. These symbols are not needed just like
   we don't need separate symbols for fractions as used before.

@iii) The idea of keeping a fixed gap (18 slots) for uyirmeis is really
@k at 160, ka at 178, ku at 196 but why didn't you continue that for 
@the Ukara varisai also.

    For Ukaara varisai also there is a fixed number between a mey and
    its Ukaara uyirmey, check it. I had to shift it because I was looking
    for a continuous 'open' slots. I assumed a few slots are not
    used or problematic based on Dr. K. Srinivasan's comments.

@iv) what the diacritical markers indicated at 197 and 199 for?

   Say we want to show a grapheme for a new phoneme which is a slight
   variation of one of the tamil phonemes, they we can use.
   For example, let us say we want to denote 'b' sound with a separate
   grapheme then we can use pa with a kIzppuLLi. Let us say we want
   to write 'pump', since last 'p' coming after 'm' will probably
   make people to pronounce as pumb and not pump. So to denote
   vallina 'p' even after 'm' with a single letter we can use
   'p with kIzirupuLLi (double dot). There may be many other purposes.
   I believe we should leave 2-4 slots for diacritical markers for
   special purposes.

@Your newtamil, grantha pages provide no information on these.
@v) can't understand the reasons for some slots left vacant (even though
@this required breakup of sequence.

  I'm surpised you are wondering about the vacant slots. You may recall
  Dr. K. Srinivasan's comments about some slots not being used by
  Microsoft or WP and you had also left these vacant in your 
  character table set version 1.3 as well ( drastically changing 
  from version 1.2). I know that version 1.4 does not include 
  these vacant slots. May be not needed to leave them blank now..
  The slots can be rearranged.. no problem.
@In short, I am for some of your propositions but not all.

   Sure. Just a suggestion. I'm only interested in a good standard
   which will help tamil cause.  
@If the earlier arguments  ( keeping a few grantha characters
@in the encoding scheme means forcing people and perpetuating the
@existing situation) are repeated here, introduction of new writing
@in a proposed standard would also mean forcing things on people?

   (Just for arguments sake) Yes, but with 8 fewer symbols *AND*
   representing MORE number of non-tamil or non-tamil-combination
   phonemes ( like G as in Gandhi, D as in Dumdum, B as in
   Babu (for tamil purposes even Bharathi though not Bh),
   Dh as in Dadabai).  I'm NOT averse to grantha letters
   and my recommendation is ONLY 4 that is already familiar, 
   possibly Sri as well.
@Any proposals for reform have to go gently and gradually. If I were
@you, I would take an alternate approach:  I would make a tamil font with 
@the proposed diacritical markers, glyphs and distribute them freely and
@on the internet with the proposals. The beauty is we are all in free

    This is not a problem, it can be done.

@and Internet is there to serve everyone. If the ideas appeal to people,
@it will 
@be like a wildfire. Just a question of time (a couple of years) before 
@people will demand that these concepts are incorporated black and white 
@in the standards and are to be found in tamil fonts and DTP packages.

   Thanks for your comments but please clarify your comment about
   using a whole page ( and possibly more) of non-tamil or grantha

   anbudan selvaa


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