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Re: The great Michael Everson (was: Reformed Latin-script writing...)

From:LIJESH KRISHNAN <lijesh@...>
Date:Sunday, May 7, 2000, 9:22
> > > Konkani, one of the official languages of India, spoken in the state > > of Goa, > > > and by ethnic Konkani Brahmins everywhere, has no script. > > It uses several scripts, I believe. Also has variant dialects.
Yes, but not its own. Konkani's usually make do with the script of the state where they live ie Devanagri, Malayalam or Kannada
> > Konkani is a Dravidian language, right? > > No. It is IndoEuropean.
Yes it is. The only sentence I know in it (and the first one I learn in any language) is Maka tujheri ishtam tha. (I love you) In Hindi a similiar form would be Mujhe tujhse pyaar hai His family's probably been in Kerala for sometime now, hence words like ishtam. He told me that when his family goes to Goa, where presumably _real_ Konkani continues to be spoken, he can't understand a word. So there certainly are many dialects.
> > A form of script similar to Marathi is, I believe, > the most widely used.
Marathi uses Devanagri.
> What about a form of Grantha script?
I really don't see it happening. Konkani's are scattered all over South and West India. The only scripts with any sort of future would be Devanagri or Roman. In fact I just read that 16th century translations of the Mahabharatha and Ramayana are preserved in Roman.
> > > And we got ENOUGH languages written in Latin script > > already.(the thought of writing Abkhaz or Kung in Latin script really > > scares me, and I thought Vietnamese was troublesome enough...) > > Danny >
Yes, whenever I sit down to write some sort of transliterating scheme for Malayalam, or even Hindi, I usually end up screaming in exasperation. But aside from that, there is a sort of informal scheme used for Hindi, around the country, usually for names of films. I could probably write a Hindi letter in Roman quite easily. In fact, Nehru in his Autobiography says that once he sent out invitations written entirely in Roman. It was he says, for a change and to see what the reaction would be. I suspect it was also to take a neutral stand in the battle between Devanagri and the Arabic script used for Hindustani at that time. Anyway, everyone fell on him like a ton of bricks and he ended up writing that he wasn't for it, and that an unbridgeable gap would be created between modern and earlier literature. Lijesh