Draft transliteration scheme on the Web

Anthony P Stone stone_catend at COMPUSERVE.COM
Sat Jun 13 08:27:54 UTC 1998

On June 8, 1998,  Bh. Krishnamurti wrote: 

>Dear Colleagues: One point about the transliteration. Proto-Dravidian 
>has a retroflex fricative/frictionless continuant (Firth describes that it
>somewhat like the  Mideast American English r phonetically) which is 
>retained in Tamil and Malayalam. Emeneau and Burrow have 
>transcribed it a r with <two subdots>. A number of dravidian scholars 
>now use a z <subdot>, because then it matches with the other retroflexes 
>which are transliterated with a <subdot>. This symbol is not used for any 
>other phoneme in Dravidian. Please consider it. 

[Abbreviations used below: -a = above,   -b = below,  dia = diaeresis (two
dots), macr = macron]

Among the many transliterations of this letter, scholars now seem to use
three in particular: l_macr-b, r_dia-b, z_dot-b.   As well as the fricative
aspect, the Malayalam and Tamil pronunciations sound something like 'r' and
'l', respectively.    Hence z_dot-b has three advantages:   (1) dot-b
matching retroflexes, (2) z suggesting a fricative, (3) no problem about
the r/l aspect.

I should be grateful if someone could point me to the discussion we had on
this letter a year or so ago; but unless r_dia-b is thought to be
especially valuable, I shall be happy to make z_dot-b the proposal.

Tony Stone

Dr Anthony P. Stone, Project Leader, ISO/TC46/SC2/WG12 Transliteration of
Indic scripts.   
Email: stone_catend at compuserve.com                             Thinking
aloud on  transliteration:

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