Indic Syllabic Categories

Richard Wordingham richard.wordingham at
Mon May 12 03:03:47 CDT 2014

On Mon, 12 May 2014 05:22:36 +0200
Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at> wrote:

> My opinion is that unlike Consonants, the Vowel_Independent are
> generally not needing an extra Dependant_Vowel to alter them (only
> vowel modifiers for tone, stress, nasalisation, or newer
> distinguished phonetic variants needed to represent words borrowed
> from other languages...), and also generally don't need a Virama-like
> character to remove their inherent vowel sign. These
> Vowel_Independent also generally don't take the additional diacritics
> used to modofy Consonants.

Mostly it's only LETTER A that loses its vowel, and then generally when
it comes to be interpreted as a 'Consonant_Placeholder' or as a
'Consonant'.  Oddly, there are a few of these characters that are
classed as 'Vowel_Independent' when 'Consonant' seems more
appropriate.  In most of the other cases, an independent vowel 
in combination with a virama still acts as a combination of consonant
and dependent vowel.

Dependent vowels on independent vowels generally modify rather than
replace the vowel sound of the independent vowel. Balinese provides a
simple example; the Brahmi length mark has retained or regained its
independence and is regularly applied to both independent and
dependent vowels.


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