Transliteration, fonts and modern Indian Languages

Avinash Sathaye sohum at MS.UKY.EDU
Tue Nov 30 14:27:44 UTC 1999

I have removed portions that I am not responding to:

Harry Spier wrote:

> 2)Also regarding the ISO draft transliteration standard I'm wondering about
> the rational of having the three nasalization indicators (anusvara,
> candrabindu and modern nasalization := tilde).
> SKIP...
>   Would it be completely unambiguous to use chandrabindu for transliterated
> vowel nasalization and anusvara for consonent nasalization and thus
> eliminating the need for the third nasalization symbol the tilde? Isn't the
> ISCII document indicating that the real symbol for vowel nasalization is
> chandrabindu and that when anusvara is used for this it is a mere
> convenience.  Also how long has the tilde been in use as a nasalization
> symbol?

The pronunciation of the nasalized word and one with anusvara can be different
and hence it is nt appropriate to use just one symbol.  The example cited by
Harry Spier
Hindi example ha&sa (laugh), haMsa (Swan)." [& represents chandrabindu and M
represents anusvara]
illustrate this as well. I have not seen the modern tilde used, so it must be
fairly new!

Of course, most of these are discussions about Hindi/Marathi. We have had
detailed discussion about the Sanskrit story!

> 3) I've come across an explicit transliteration standard for mute "a" in
> Hindi words.  In "Kabir Legends and Ananta-Das's Kabir Parachai, SUNY press
> by David N. Lorenzen" in his notes on transliteration he has. "In the case
> of Hindi words, a mute a at the end of a word or before a hyphen is usually
> dropped.  A final a is usually kept when it is preceded by two consonents
> (including nasals and semivowels)."
> Can someone tell me what the reason is for keeping final "a" after two
> consonents?

I presume the reason to drop the final "a" is to be faithful with the
pronunciation in practice, which omits the final "a" and often many in the
middle too! With multiple consonants, you need some amount of vowel to finish
and so perhaps it is kept. In original devnagari, you keep the vowels anyway,
since they are built in the characters.  (BTW, note my "devnagari"; it
illustrates dropping "a" in the middle from "deva". That is how the word is
pronounced in non-sanskrit context! There are other "mis-spellings" in this word
as well!)

P.S. I personally prefer the Itranslator fontsfor generating as well as
displaying devnagari characters. I believe they should be usable. Check the
site; . They
have true-type fonts which look good too!

|Avinash Sathaye Phone:(606)277-0130(Home), (606)257-8832(Office) |
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