Devanagari (was Re: sorry Mark Lang...)
|From:||Ph. D. <phild@...>|
|Date:||Friday, June 18, 2004, 1:49|
> An "abugida" is sometimes called an "alphasyllabary". It's an alphabet,
> but a bare consonant symbol actually represents an entire syllable,
> containing that consonant plus a default vowel. Modifications or
> additions to the bare consonant indicate a different vowel or the
> absence of any vowel. The vowels also have their own letters, but these
> are not used except for syllables that contain no consonant. The
> Devanagari script - used by Sanskrit and Hindi, and the ancestor of
> many other Indic writing system - is like this.
I was under the impression that Devanagari was not the ancestor of
the Indic scripts, but that they had a common ancester (Brahmi Script).
> The diacritics are all mnemonic: - for macron, ' for acute accent, > for
> circumflex, < for caron, ( for breve, ~ for tilde, ! for grave accent
> (well, okay, that one's less mnemonic; I don't know why not `), / for
> slash-through (as in ø), . for dot below, ',' for cedilla, etc,
As are the shortcut key sequences in MS Word. (But of course, those
only work for the Windows character set, which includes the letters
with diacritical marks used in most of the Western European languages.)
Cntl~ + n gives n with tilde, cntl-apostrophe + e gives e with acute, etc.