Tai Laing Sibilants
vinodh.vinodh at gmail.com
Mon Aug 30 05:15:15 CDT 2021
My original post (about 2 years ago) is here:
On Sat, Aug 28, 2021 at 4:17 PM Richard Wordingham via Unicode <
unicode at corp.unicode.org> wrote:
> I thought I had seen a query from Ben Mitchell or Vinodh Rajan about
> this, but I can't find it, let alone a resolution, explanation or way
> forward. (I would have access to a discussion on Unicore.)
> The anomaly appears when looking at the letters for Pali, as implicitly
> described in UTN 11 and as shown in L2/12-012 Figure 5:
> c ၸ U+1078 MYANMAR LETTER SHAN CA
> ch ꩬ U+AA6C MYANMAR LETTER KHAMTI SA
> j ꧫ U+A9EB MYANMAR LETTER TAI LAING JA
> jh ꧬ U+A9EC MYANMAR LETTER TAI LAING JHA
> ñ ꧧ U+A9E7 MYANMAR LETTER TAI LAING NYA
> s ꧬ U+A9EC MYANMAR LETTER TAI LAING JHA
> The double application of U+A9EC as both <jh> and <s> is anomalous.
> The voiced palatals for Pali are regularly formed by application of the
> overstriking voicing dot diacritic.
> Now, L2/12-012 Figure 4 also gives letters for the consonant phonemes
> of Tai Laing. The first two rows are:
> k က U+1000 MYANMAR LETTER KA
> kʰ ၵ U+1075 MYANMAR LETTER SHAN KA
> ŋ င U+1004 MYANMAR LETTER NGA
> s ၸ U+1078 MYANMAR LETTER SHAN CA
> sʰ (see below)
> ɲ ꧧ U+A9E7 MYANMAR LETTER TAI LAING NYA
> Comparing the letters with the reference forms, we see a large U-shaped
> bowl at the start of some letters, which has to be shrunk to obtain the
> references forms of SHAN KA and TAI LAING NYA. If we apply the same
> analogy to /sʰ/ and trim that off, we find the letter သ SA.
> I can think of a just-so story to explain what is going on:
> 1. Locally, the distinction of Pali <ch> and <s> has been lost, as
> seemingly in much of Northern Thailand, and in the corresponding
> vernacular, a merger that extends to Lao.
> 2. We therefore end up with Tai Laing viewed in isolation having three
> significant glyphs for writing /sʰ/ - (a) KHAMTI SA, (b) KHAMTI SA with
> a peg at the bottom of the middle, which may be interpreted as SA with
> a flourish at the start and is what is shown in Figure 4, and (c) the
> same again, but with the peg implemented as a dot in the right-hand
> 3. One way of writing Pali is to use Tai Laing writing phonetically, but
> with the extra consonants denoted by a dot - possible borrowed from the
> European notation for Indic letters outside typical European
> repertoires. CHA and SA are distinguished by specialising the glyphs,
> in much the same way as IPA 'a' and 'ɑ' are distinguished. When the
> chart in Figure 5 was drawn up, the wrong Tai Laing glyph was
> accidentally inserted for Pali <s>.
> Can anyone with access to Tai Laing materials verify or disverify this
> I think the question we have left is what should be the
> encoding of the character(s) for Tai Laing /sʰ/ and Pali <s> in Tai
> Laing orthography? The answer might simply be to use U+101E MYANMAR
> LETTER SA. But perhaps we need a new character rather than dismiss the
> bowl as mere font variation.
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