Draft transliteration scheme on the Web

Bh.Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Sun Jun 14 18:39:56 UTC 1998

At 10:49 13/06/98 EDT, you wrote:
>In a message dated 98-06-13 04:29:00 EDT, stone_catend at COMPUSERVE.COM writes:
><< 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. >>
>As a person who has to constantly deal with the pronunciation of this letter,
>I can say the following. My name in the Tamil version has this letter. It is
>transliterated in my name with "l" which is a very common practice. In my
>business card, to elicit a pronunciation as close to the original as possible
>from Americans, I use a nickname using "r". In my postings on Indology, I use
>the scheme set up by someone as "z". Personally, I do not see any difference
>between the correct pronunciation of this letter by Tamils and Malayalis.
>(There are many Tamils who mispronounce it as retroflex L. However, I think we
>should go by the pronunciation considered correct by the Tamils.)  Many
>Malayalis and Tamils do transliterate this with "zh" which I consider to be an
>arbitrary scheme.
>My preference would be to stick with the transliteration scheme of the Tamil
>Lexicon (which uses l_macr-b) for the following reasons.
>1. There is a considerable amount of scholarly work related to Tamil where
>they have used it. Even many Dravidian Linguistic Association publications
>(eg. The History of the Grammatical Theories in Malayalam) use it.
>2. Having two sub dots with r may lead to confusion between this letter and
>the r_macr-b used in Tamil and Malayalam. In many books printed in India when
>the printing is not very good the two dots merge into a macron. I have
>encountered this many times.
>3. Using "z" seems to be very arbitrary.
>So, my vote is for l_macr-b.
>S. Palaniappan

The latest book on Drravidian: The Dravidain Languages, published by
Routledge, edited by Sanford Steever uses z <subdot> for the Dravidian
retroflex ficative.The Tamil Lexicon transcription is archaic. Bh.K.
H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
Street 9, Tarnaka
Hyderabad 500017

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