It turns out that you have been talking aobut things that have nothing to do with the Indic scripts, but with developments that happened many centuries later and thousands of km away.

Kharosthi was devised for Gandhari and used for Prakrits (Gandhari is a Prakrit). There may have been a few examples of Sanskrit written with Kh., but they are very late in the lifespan of Kh., and anomalous.

Ashoka's inscriptions are not in Kh. (And they're not in Skt.)

Aunsvara and Visarga are obviously not consonants in Indic writing!!
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

----- Original Message ----
From: Richard Wordingham <richard@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 9:01:03 AM
Subject: Re: Kharoshthi CVC Orthographic Units

--- In qalam@... com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@. ..>

> Gandhari is a Prakrit

Different sets of Ashoka's rock edicts are in different languages or
dialects, so that doen't tell us the classification of the language
(s) of the Brahmi versions.

> there are no CVC units in Indic writing,

I can only presume you are using some strange definition of 'Indic
writing' that makes that statement a tautology. It's more
like 'Mammals don't have wings' than 'Mammals don't lay eggs', though
perhaps you'll claim the analogy is with 'Reptiles are cold-blooded'
as a statement in biology. Cladists don't like the term 'reptile'
because it is generally used to exclude the warm-blooded members of
the minimal clade that includes the creatures generally reckoned as

I'll summarise the types of orthographic unit in Indic writing that
might be considered CVC, and then perhaps we can establish where the
terminological inexactitude lies. I don't actually think of the
first two examples as CVC in scripts of the Brahmi family, but they
may be the starting points for the development of more clearly CVC

To begin with, there are the CVN units written with anusvara which go
back to the earliest times. In many writing traditions, the N can be
the homorganic nasal before a nasal consonant. In SE Asian scripts,
at least some combinations of vowel and anusvara can be used for
specific final nasal consonants. You may argue that this does not
count because the anusvara is not related to any of the consonant
letters. (This argument falls down for Kharoshthi - the distinction
between <mma> (geminate) and <mam.> (with anusvara) was not obvious
to all.)

Khmer at least has CVh units written with visarga for native words -
but visarga seems not to be related to any consonant letters. I
would argue that Indic Tai scripts generally use visarga for a final
glottal stop, but some see the visarga as a vowel shortening symbol.
It functions as a 'tone' mark in Burmese!

The isolated case of CVy occurs in several SE Asian scripts - Lao,
Khmer and, according to WWS, Javanese. For Lao it can be
administered away by declaring the subscript form a separate letter.
CVy is rare in Khmer, though some of its compound vowels appear to
contain a modified form of subscript <y>. The description in WWS
gives separate forms for Javanese CyV and CVy. The form given for
use in CVy corresponds to the form the Unicode standard records for
subscript Balinese <y>, and resembles the subscript forms used in
mainland SE Asia.

There are at least two cases of C1V.C2C3 being reinterpreted as
C1VC2.C3 when C2 has the appearance of a superscript to a base
consonant C3. In each case the C2 moves leftwards to be associated
with C1. In Javanese (WWS) and Balinese (Unicode) the repha form of
<r> has come to be written above C1 and be interpreted as a final
consonant mark. The Unicode documentation notes that the old
placement is still used in the Kawi style (Kawi = 'old Javanese' -
Richard.) The second case is with the 'mai kang lai' form of <ng>
the Lanna script, which corresponds to Burmese kinzi. This change is
still in progress, at least in Northern Thai.

Finally we come to the case where CVC can be used quite generally.
There are two such scripts that I know of - the Limbu and Lanna
scripts. There is an element of restriction to the native language -
Lanna does not use CVC units for Pali, and the Limbu subscript final
consonants appear to be restricted to those necessary for the
phonology of the language - velar/dental/ labial stop/nasal, /l/
and /r/. There is no general difference between CCV and CVC, though
in both cases the script can distinguish CrV and CVr, and the
phonology of the languages greatly restricts the possibility for
ambiguity. (Is ambiguity possible in Limbu?)

I don't know how general the form of the CVC units in Kharoshthi is.
The only example I have found is <dHik>.

Does the PTD definition of 'Indic writing' exclude the Lao, Khmer,
Javanese/Balinese, Limbu and Lanna scripts?

> and something is seriously wrong with yahoo groups -- this evening
I'm getting up to 8 copies of each message.

It seems to have been fixed now, but a lot of moderators may have
some careful deleting to do.


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