Friday, November 5, 2010

ழான் லுய்க் செவ்வியார் அவர்களிடம் கேட்கப்பட்ட வினாக்களும் அவர் அளித்த விளக்கங்களும்

1. Can we preserve in web the grantha literature and records with out adding the five Tamil characters?

As far as I know, MOST of Sanskrit literature can be preserved on the web by means of the grantha script
on the basis of the original proposal by Mr Shriramana Sharma,
which did not contain the 5 Tamil characters.

It is possible however that there exists a  few native Sanskrit texts which need to distinguish long e (= ஏ) and short e (எ)
and long o (ஓ) and short o (ஒ).

See what Professor George Cardona (who was V.S. Rajam's thesis guide) has written on page 259 of his 1976 book /Panini, a survey of research/
(I am quoting the 1997 reprint by Motilal Banarsidass).

In the Mahābhāṣya ..., Patanjali notes that according to certain chanters of the Sāma-veda,
there are short (/ardha/ 'half') vowels /e/ and /o/. K.V. Abhyankar has discussed details concerning this question.

In his bibliography, on page 13, Professor Cardona gives the bibliographical reference for the Abhyankar article

1957, "Short /e/ (/ardha ekāra/) and short /o/ (/ardha okāra/) in Sanskrit", ABORI 38: 154-7.

((ABORI = Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute)

It is however fair to say that this is very rare and that many sanskritists have never heard of them
and that it is not clear whether those were explicitely written.

You might want to clarify
with people like Mr Shriramana Sharma
(or like V.S. Rajam)

As far as ழ, ற and ன are concerned,
I have not heard of them being used in Sanskrit
but there are many things I do not know.

If the 14 sanskrit scholars who met in Delhi thought that there was no problem with having those letters
(mostly *for the purpose of transliteration*), I don't see why others should see a problem

2. Can we use the same Tamil characters in a grantha text without adding them into grantha? ( Now we can type English words when we type Tamil- then what is the problem in repeating the same in Grantha ?)

I don't see why there should be a problem.

Using Unicode, I can have Latin, Cyrillic, Tamil, Malayalam, Sanskrit_language_written_in_Devanagari_SCRIPT, Sanskrit_language_written_in_Grantha_SCRIPT all on the same page. What can be more tricky is to combine on the same page scripts written from left to right (like those I have just mentionned) and scripts written from right to left (like Arabic script, Hebrew script, etc.).

But even that can be worked out (Unicode has special tools for that)

3. Is there any technical problem in mixing phonemic language and phonetic language? ( some claims like that)

Those who say that show that they have not understood that Unicode was invented
for encoding SCRIPTS
and not for encoding LANGUAGE
(this is at least my humble opinion)

Since you might be waiting for my answer,
I am now sending you this my answer to point 3
and then continue writing.

[to be continued shortly]

4. one scholar said by adding these exclusive five Tamil characters they are planning to make Grantha as a super set. is it true?

I am not sure which meaning exactly he is trying to convey
but TO BE VERY FRANK, I believe he is trying to create irrational fears.

I don't believe that the ideal is to have a computer which will be able to write only in Tamil
(and no other language, including English)

A computer (nowadays) always allows one to write in many languages (Tamil, English, Russian, Telugu ...)
and that is a VERY GOOD THING

That means that no user ever makes uses of all the possibilities of his computer.

The totality of the possibilities allowed by the computer is always a SUPERSET of what any one uses.

In private,
I would say that the argument made by the scholar does not make sense.

If I have to express my opinion in public
I shall say that there is NO PROBLEM in having a computer capable of producing a SUPERSET of what any individual user needs

5. If you say yes, what are the repercussions?

There are no repercussion at all
because nobody uses the features which he does not need
(the fact that your computer can write in Russian script will not be a cause
for India to be invaded by Russian speakers
because there is no chance that people will suddenly become knowledgeable in Russian
without making a huge effort :-)

the fact that the computer can use the Grantha script
will not by itself produce users who are knowledgeable in that script
(it is not very easy to learn :-)


-- Jean-Luc

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