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Re: [WMASTERS] ISCII
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Dear Prof. Hart:
thanks for your comments.
>>Unicode starts with Devanagari as the most complex house to
>>build and sees all others (incl. Tamil ) as simplified versions of
>Actually, Malayalam is the most complex Indian alphabet. It has all the
>features of Tamil and Sanskrit, and actually uses two different systems of
>writing. Indigenous words (from Old Tamil, the parent language of
>Malayalam) are written as in Tamil, while words borrowed from Sanskrit are
>written as in that language. And, in spite of the recent changes to
>facilitate printing, it remains more difficult to implement on a computer
>than Devanagari. My own feeling (not entirely seriously) has long been
>that Malayalam should be the national language of India. Reasons:
>1. It combines both Dravidian and Sanskrit.
>2. Its high literacy rate means there are (perhaps) more readers of
>Malayalam than any other Indian language, including Hindi.
>In any case, ISCII should start from Malayalam, not from Devanagari, which
>to my mind is an inferior writing system.
In another posting sent about 30 mins. ago, I have elaborated on
my understanding of the specific choice and slot assignments
for various glyphs for indic languages in the Unicode scheme.
Based on an analysis that I elaborated, I SPECULATED that
Unicode assignment for various indic languages is based on
Strangely, the official UNICODE 2.0 standard reference book
(published by Addison-Wesley) is very silent on the reasons
that went behind the specific slot assignments for various indic
languages. No explanations given for specific slot assignments.
I stand to be corrected if my inference is wrong.
May be some Unicode experts can make more precise statements.
Devanagiri has maximum number of glyphs filled
103 out of 128 (25 vacant).
Malayalam block has lesser number of glyphs:
79 out of 128 (49 vacant)
So in terms of the number of glyphs chosen, Devanagari has the
maximum and all others become sub-set of this.
I do not know Malayalam script at all to make any comments.
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