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[WMASTERS] Re. 8-bit scheme and Unicode 2.0 Tamil
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Dear Dr. Srinivasan:
>I fail to see any such "umbrella" in Unicode. Each of the following
>languages have a private set of 128 positions. They can put what they
>want there. Tamil set is at the same level as Laotian or Greek.
>They are all under one umbrella.
In principle, what you say is true. In practice, the slot assignments
for all indian languages FOLLOW BLINDLY the assignments given to
Devanagari (as explained below).
If you have the Unicode tables handy, you can confirm the following:
Look at the slot assignments for Devanagari, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu ,...
vowels/uyirs always start with "a" at the same 6th position.
Wherever an equivalent uyir is missing, they have left out a blank.
In the uyir listing of tamil you will notice that after U there are
left vacant because Devanagiri has something in these three places.
After these comes the uyir letter "e" and then "E".
The same principle applies for consonants.
ka is always at 22nd position, ca in slot 27 etc in all languages.
There are three slots vacant after ka in tamil because in Devanagiri
you have four ks as I indicated in my posting (ka, kha, ga and gha).
and so on.
All the modifiers and the numerals in indic languages also occupy
the same relative positions in the 128 block set.
(Once I spent one whole day trying to understand the gaps that
are there in the Tamil segment of Unicode. In private talks during
TamilNet'97 many criticised this blind approach to model the
tamil segment based on Devanagari).
The only usefulness I can come out is the following: it is easy to
take any tamil text file, add 128 to the codes and Bingo, you get the
equivalent Telugu file. Substract 128 in each, you get the Oriya file.
This is possible because there is exact inter-relationships in the
specific slot assignments of vowels, consonants, modifiers and
numerals for various indic languages.
This is what I alluded to as having all houses in the colony having
the same design pattern.
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