Unicode discussion


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Dot-Reph atomic encoding proposal Edit

This was rejected by UTC on June 2007.

Current Status Edit

Unicode 5.0 says the Dot-Reph is <RA, VIRAMA, C>. This encoding produces following unacceptable results:

  1. The word Malayalam-repham-karyam is rendered in a modern font as Malayalam-kaaryyam-incorrect.
  2. The word Malayalam-paarvathi-repham is rendered in a modern font as Malayalam-paarvvathi-incorrect.

Instead of the current encoding, author proposes to encode Dot-Reph atomically to meet following objectives:

  • A correct text written using traditional orthography font should get displayed in a modern orthography font (and vice verse) without spelling mistakes or unreadable rendering.
  • Traditional writer should have the flexibility to mix Dot-Reph and Chillu-RA/RRA in the text without switching the font.

Arguments Edit

Dot-Reph is not same as Chillu-RA/RRA or <RA, VIRAMA> Edit

Dot-reph is not used in modern script. This does not mean that it has been replaced by Chillu-RA/RRA or <RA, VIRAMA>. Instead, modern script devised a different method (transcribe) to write words which had Dot-Reph in them.

Both of the following examples provide the evidence that, equivalences or fall-backs between Dot-Reph and Chillu-RA/RRA or <RA, VIRAMA> are not reliable.

Example 1 Edit

A traditional writer using old orthography font, writes /kaaryam/ (meaning: matter, subject) as: Malayalam-repham-karyam. All following potential fallbacks for a modern orthography font are incorrect:

  • Malayalam-kaar~yyam
  • Malayalam-kaar yyam
  • Malayalam-kaaryyam-incorrect

That is, the word should be rendered as Malayalam-repham-karyam in any type of font.

In this case, the transcribing of <RA, YA, YA> from old orthography to new is made as <RA, YA> to get കാര്യം.

Example 2 Edit

Suppose Dot-Reph is made equivalent to Chillu-RA/RRA and a young writer using modern font writes /paarvathi/ as Malayalam-paarvathi. A person and using traditional (old orthography) font would see the incorrect rendering as Malayalam-paarvathi-incorrect-repham while he expects Malayalam-paarvathi-repham.

In this case, the transcribing of <RA, VA, VA> from old orthography to new is made as <Chillu-RA/RRA, VA>.

Proposed Solution Edit

Encode Dot-Reph atomically Edit

As of now, there is no reliable mapping between Dot-Reph and Chillu-RA/RRA or RA_dead. Transcribing is the only option between traditional and modern texts. So the words with Dot-Reph should be displayed as it is, irrespective of the nature of font. That is guaranteed only by encoding Dot-Reph.

This will give complete control for the writer to choose the style he want. This paradigm is similar to the decision to independently encode Chillu-RA/RRA.

Problems Edit

Need to separate Dot-Reph from its base character RA and Chillu-RA/RRA.

Alternate Solution Edit

Mandate Dot-Reph implementation in a font Edit

Unicode can mandate a Dot-Reph implementation in a Malayalam font. Thus following produce Dot-Reph in any Malayalam font.

  • <ര, VIRAMA, യ, VIRAMA, യ>
  • <ര, VIRAMA, വ, VIRAMA, വ>
  • <ര, VIRAMA, ദ, VIRAMA, ദ>
  • ...

This would not conflict with Chillu-RA/RRA since it is being atomically encoded.

However, this could require joiners to encode <RA, VIRAMA, VA> and <RA, VIRAMA, YA> cases. Example for such manifestation is here in this scan:

word /nirvaanam/ is written with reph over single VA in 10th grade textbook in 1966

Links Edit

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