[INDOLOGY] Font with Brahmi characters

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 5 11:45:08 UTC 2014

Dear Stefan and other colleagues,

I am keen to know wherein lies the potential scholarly interest of these endeavors, and how the idea of standardizing can be justified in the case of a given data set, such as the two-dimensional realizations (shall we say "graphetes"?) of the graphemes of any premodern Indic script, which is fundamentally characterized by variation. I am presently reading inscriptions of the time of Devapāla, for instance, and am struck by the fact that there are at least three very different forms of syllable-final <t> (one of which actually lacking any virāma element), two very different forms of śa, etc., occurring in single documents. Why would I ever want to encode such variations, and how could I ever be justified in choosing one particular shape of one particular variant as a 'standard' shape to represent them? Please enlighten me on these questions. I am not asking to be irritating or because I am assuming there is no potential interest and justification. I am asking because I do not know and have seen how much interest the availability of a font with Brahmi characters seems to raise among colleagues.

Thank you.

Arlo Griffiths

> Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2014 14:14:47 +0200
> From: baums at lmu.de
> To: indology at list.indology.info
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Font with Brahmi characters
> Dear Will,
> > I recently heard about Google Noto fonts
> I had a go at the Noto Brahmi font, and basic support is
> there, but not complete. (I had the same experience with the
> Noto Kharoshthi font.) In the following sentence, for
> instance
>    𑀇𑀬𑀁𑀥𑀀𑀫𑀮𑀺𑀧𑀻𑀤𑁂𑀯𑀸𑀦𑀀𑀧𑁆𑀭𑀺𑀬𑁂𑀦𑀧𑁆𑀭𑀺𑀬𑀤𑀲𑀺𑀦𑀸𑀭𑀸𑀜𑀸𑀮𑁂𑀔𑀸𑀧𑀺𑀢𑀸
> (the beginning of Girnar Rock Edict 1 in Brāhmī script),
> vowel signs and anusvāra are correctly attached to base
> consonants, but pa + virāma + ra is not correctly combined.
> Still, it is good to see this sort of broad support for
> Brāhmī and Kharoṣṭhī emerging, and when the missing
> rendering functionality is added, the Noto fonts should be
> very useful.
> All best,
> Stefan
> -- 
> Dr. Stefan Baums
> Institute for Indian and Tibetan Studies
> Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
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