--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:
> Peter T. Daniels scripsit:
> > > So Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac are not abjads?
> >
> > Unvocalized, they are. Add the points, and they're alphabets.
> Most modern Arabic and Hebrew texts, however, are neither fully
> nor fully unpointed: rather, they are strategically pointed with
> lectionis.
> > > He said he was misled by the way *Unicode* encodes Ethiopic:
one code per
> > > sillable, as it does with genuine syllabaries such as katakana
or Cherokee.
> >
> > Well, Unicode has nothing to do with script typology! It just
> > things as they're convenient. Doesn't it have to handle
syllabically the
> > Indic scripts that have idiosyncratic treatments of -u, for
instance (I
> > think Malayalam is one of them)?
> No. All nine Indic scripts are encoded in exactly the same way,
and all
> presentation issues are left up to the script engine or font

I was suddenly enlightened. Peter Daniels doesn't know how things
are encoded in Unicode and what terms are being used.

Here goes:

Korean - encoded by phoneme and syllable

Cree - the pepipopa - encoded by syllable

Ethiopic - the abugida - encoded by syllable

Indic scripts, including Tamil - the Akhsaramala (which refers to
the V and CV components) - encoded by phoneme only, no syllables

So a few months ago I went to a Unicode member's website and I read
that the Tamil script is an abugida. Well, I think okay, let's have
it - where is it? I was thinking that this was said becase Tamil
might be treated by Unicode like the Abugida. However, I understand
now that it was not meant that way.

I am hoping that Unicode members will be encouraged to say something
like 'Tamil, and Indic scripts, have an Aksharamala and the aksharas
will be displayed if you have a USP10.dll version 471.' Now that
would be useful information.

Does this begin to explain why Suzanne is so confused? None of
this "you are a only a user so why do you care what goes on behind
the scenes?" Instead how about "the aksharas will be displayed by
the USP10, please check to see if you have one." If Unicode members
could use the term Aksharamala, I would think that those of us who
use Indic scripts might feel more at home.


> At the end of the Metatarsal Age, the dinosaurs John Cowan
> abruptly vanished. The theory that a single jcowan@...
> catastrophic event may have been responsible
> has been strengthened by the recent discovery of
> a worldwide layer of whipped cream marking the
> Creosote-Tutelary boundary. --Science Made Stupid