Indic Syllabic Categories

Asmus Freytag asmusf at
Fri May 9 21:58:03 CDT 2014

On 5/9/2014 6:32 PM, Shriramana Sharma wrote:
> Dear Richard,
> It is true that Vowel_Independent can behave like Consonant
> characters. Given that consonant letters also have an inherent vowel
> in these scripts, IMO there is not really much to distinguish
> *technically*. At least in *Indian* Indic scripts we don't have
> Vowel_Independent letters participating in a cluster via a virama
> unlike the consonant letter,

And the ability to construct a regular expression that caters to this 
restriction (for the scripts that have it) is supremely useful in a 
number of application areas.

Having a division that is only occasionally required is much better than 
not having the division.


> but possibly in the South East Asian
> scripts this is not guaranteed. Hence IIUC it is merely the
> traditional classification based on the sound value of these letters
> that is reflected here.
> And that classification (which you probably know but just putting into
> writing) is: The consonant letters all denote the same inherent vowel
> preceded by one (or, rarely, more) consonant sounds. The independent
> vowel letters OTOH all denote different vowel sounds without (for the
> most part) any consonant sounds.
> HTH,
> Shriramana Sharma.

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