by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/04/09 00:11 -07:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2005/04/09/406765.aspx
The Virama is a fascinating sign. It has a simple job -- it surpresses the inherent vowel that the preceding Indic letter contains.
I was very pleased once I understood this concept (I was dealing with Tamil at the time). And the collation rules also seemed quite intuitive to me -- a letter with its inherent vowel surpressed comes before that same letter that still has the vowel. It seemed intuitive because if the vowel was surpressed then it would "weigh less" than if it was not, right?
And I went out in the world with an understanding that I thought would spread to a dozen other scripts that had Viramas in them.
If you know the actual truth you probably have some insight into why I consider my notions of having lingistic aptitude to be delusions....
Like I said, in the Tamil script, it is U+0bcd, and it is known as the Pulli.
And க் (U+0b95 U+0bcd, Tamil Ka + Pulli) sorts before க (U+0b95, Tamil Ka) alone, in the Tamil language.
But on the other hand, in the Devanagrai script, it is U+094d, it is known as the Halant.
And क् (U+0915 U+094d, Devanagrai Ka + Virama) sorts after क (U+0915, Devangari Ka) alone, in the Hindi language.
Ah, but in the Bengali script my insight worked again! It is U+09cd, and it is known as the Hasant.
And ক্ (U+0995 U+09cd, Bengali Ka + Virama) sorts before ক (U+0995, Bengali Ka) alone, in both the Bengali and Assamese languages.
But my hopes are dashed in the Malayalam script, where it is U+0d4d, and it is known as the Chandrakkala.
And ക് (U+0d15 U+0d4d, Malayalam Ka + Chandrakkala) sorts after ക (U+0d15, Malayalam Ka) alone, in the Malayalam language.
And so on.
Any time I have talked to a native speaker of one of these languages, they have told me that the way that the language sorts simply feels natural to them. And I realize that the real problem was seeing what I thought was a technical reason for a set of principles that often do not have a logical reason that is so easily found.
It reminds me of section of that Douglas Adams book Mostly Harmless:
"I know that astrology isn't a science," said Gail. "Of course it isn't. It's just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis or -- what's that strange thing you British play?"
"Er, cricket? Self-loathing?"
"Parlimentary democracy. The rules just kind of got there. They don't make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves. But when you start to exercise those rules, all sorts of processes start to happen and you start to find out all sorts of stuff about people. in astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the difference it would make. It's just a way of thinking about a problem that lets the shape of the problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the paper above it that has now been taken away and hidden. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology's nothing to do with astronomy. It's just to do with people thinking about people.
I think my attempt to find patterns in the chaos were an immature attempt to keep me from feeling foolish for being fascinated by a subject that is no more based on scientific principles than astrology is. But it is an interesting 'in" to learning about some aspects of language. Of which I have learned many.
This site isn't about science. Its just to do with a wanna-be linguist thinking about language.
And sorting it all out....
This post brought to you by U+0a4d, a.k.a. GURMUKHI SiGN VIRAMA
# Paul Bartrum on Saturday, April 09, 2005 3:02 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Saturday, April 09, 2005 5:56 AM:
# Dean Harding on Sunday, April 10, 2005 9:40 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:03 PM:
# Dean Harding on Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:55 PM:
# Ambarish Sridharanarayanan on Monday, April 11, 2005 7:25 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Monday, April 11, 2005 10:08 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Monday, April 11, 2005 10:20 PM:
# Ambarish Sridharanarayanan on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 6:22 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 6:39 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 9:15 PM:
# Ambarish Sridharanarayanan on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 7:32 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:58 PM:
# s.sureskumar on Thursday, December 20, 2007 5:53 AM:
you send besic english vocabulary meening of tamil
2005/06/05 Does Bengali sorting work?
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