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[WMASTERS] Re: Your proposals for charset and grantha


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Dear Selva:
Thanks a lot for your comments.
I should say that I have been thinking a lot about your proposals
during the last few days. Ideas such as using diacritical markers
is technically sound and I would like to applaud you for your 
suggestions.  Even the alternate approaches of usage of k1, k2, 
k3, k4 are also elegant, scientifically more accurate way of writing the
language paying attention to the phonetics part.
Like many new things in life, there will always be problems 
of orientation in the beginning.
As I have stated clearly I find some of your suggestions acceptable
but not all. I have clarified the points of ambiguity as I see it.
Sorry for the querry on the vacant slots. I realized it myself
soon after I made my posting.

I still feel that your proposals of using (ny)(c)
[ (nj)(c) in your scheme) for ja is strange. In all the words you
quote (panju, thanjavUr, inji, ..) there is the sound "ja" (agreed) but
it is not alone. It is intimately linked to (ny) and is very 
different from self-standing "ja" as in Jagannathan and Janaki
that you quote. I am not sure if you want Janaki as
(ny)(c)Anaki. The beginning sound is more like that in the name
of the saivaite saint (ny)Anacambandar.

>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 ?
The arguments are very similar to what many invoked earlier:
Muthu proposed can we not write thU as thu + kaal, Anu asked
why not write ku as simply (k)(u) and so on. 
I see these purely as "language reforms" and all such processes
are subject to personal tastes and preferences at least in the
early stages. I am not the only one who was taught in the school
that thu and thU are written in one particular way. 

>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.
The idea to have some compatibility with Unicode 2.0 standard.
The tamil numerals listed in version 1.4 are the same that are
in Unicode 2.0 tamil segment. Nothing more, nothing less.

>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
The above statements were made purely on transliterated tamil using
diacritical markers and so please, do not extrapolate things.

Any proposal that wants the scripts to be written in a format
different from the current practice is a "reform". The proposed
ideas of writing tamil alphabets with these markers
amounts to introducing "new glyphs" and hence they can be
labelled under the topic of "language reforms". I am not against
any "reforms". I can talk only about my feelings as an end-user.
I do not have the expertise and so I prefer to leave to tamil scholars
and experts in linguistics to debate on technical merits of your 
Sujatha has stated explicitly many times that tamil alphabet system
needs some revision to accommodate some of the phonetic 
deficiencies that you address. In fact, the Tamilnadu
Advisory Committee has listed possible language reforms as one
of the topics for their deliberations. I am sure Sujatha and other
members of TNC will give serious consideration to your novel
ideas. But they no urgency for language reform (as compared to
the urgent need to have a encoding standard corresponding to
present usage ) and have placed it at the lower part of their agenda.



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