[INDOLOGY] Sinhala half nasal plus m

Hock, Hans Henrich hhhock at illinois.edu
Sat Aug 6 12:57:16 EDT 2016

What complicates matters is that one can assemble characters such as the “chandra m” (m̆) by means of rendering machines, but the outcome is not a single “glyph”.

What do I mean by this?

On the Mac, if you have enabled US Extended (or its later successor) and use a Unicode-compatible font such as Times New Roman, you can produce the character by typing in m and then type Shift-Option b. But while many “ordinary” combinations of diacritics plus base character are encoded as a single “glyph” (i.e., a unitary entity), other combinations such as m + Shift-Option b are not. As a consequence, they are unstable across platforms or word-processing applications. In some cases, they do make it across platforms, as long as one doesn’t try to edit; in other cases, they show up as a blank from the start. (I found out about this and related issues when producing the documents from which The languages and linguistics of South Asia were printed, especially in exchanging files with my coeditor, Elena Bashir, who uses a PC, and then with the Mouton printers.)

This problem is, annoyingly, an issue for many other, more common characters (at least in Indology), such as ā́, i.e. a with macron and accent. Not being a Unicode “geek”, I can’t tell whether this is a problem of the word-processing application, the rendering machine, or an absence of such single glyphs in Unicode. Perhaps some colleagues can enlighten us on this issue.

All the best,

Hans Henrich Hock

On 5 Aug 2016, at 17:23, Harry Spier <hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com<mailto:hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com>> wrote:

ISO 15919 has m with the chandra sign above it for this character, but I also could not find this in a unicode font.  Is it possible that there is no unicode slot for this  character.  That would mean that some ISO 15919 characters are not in Unicode.

Harry Spier

On Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 9:27 AM, Rolf Heinrich Koch <rolfheiner.koch at gmail.com<mailto:rolfheiner.koch at gmail.com>> wrote:
Dear list members,
there is one Sinhala sign consisting of a half-nasal with following ba,
like in a-m-ba (mango).

Unicode has a half-nasal for n, e. g. paňdita.
But I could not figure out the corresponding sign for the half-nasal m.
Since the anusvara ṃ is also frequent in Sinhala, I am using ṁ for transcribing the half nasal m, e. g. aṁba.

My work does not allow the composition of signs with the help of an additional accent.

Anyone came across the Unicode-standard for he half nasal of m?


Rolf Heinrich Koch


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