Vital Statistics

Rajarshi Banerjee rajarshi.banerjee at SMGINC.COM
Thu Jan 6 12:37:34 EST 2000

Just looking at the Nagari conjuct-consonant alphabets
in Coulsen's book and in Madhav Deshpande's samskrtasubodhini's list
running to several pages. It was OK in old times when
language education by itself was the "total" education. Nowadays,
language is a mere tool, to master technology and get a job.

//I agree about the conjunct consonants.
Indian scripts can be made more efficient very easily without resorting to
the roman alphabet. In any case roman alphabets have to be modified to be
able to represent Indian languages or should we give up the way speak?

Along with the entrenchment of English, hope Indians go for
the Roman script. Germany has moved away from Gothic script;
After all, Brahmi script itself has origins in West Asia.
Passions aside, Roman script for Indian languages will lead to
greater standardization, uniformity, convergence and ease.

//Even if we assume that indian scripts are derived from west asia.
A paper plane flew in from west asia and was converted into a lear jet. Now
we go back to the paper plane. The way english is represented by its
alphabet is conceptually not a vast improvement over sumerian. The letters
can mean so many things depending on context. And the speaker has to
memorize each word. Its only the human brain which is peculiarly suited to
memorizing a large number of context switches which makes the use such of
such a poor conceptual system possible.

//Mathematics is less forgiving and we should remember that the world is now
using the place value notation which Indians used very early in history.
Imagine calculus, engineering, computer/microprocesser design based on roman
numerals and its associated algebra.

//The sanskrit or tamil alphabet is a powerful abstraction, something on the
lines of the periodic table of elements or taxonomy in biology.


R. Banerjee

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