Re: Encoding Bengali Vowel forms (again)

From: Dhrubajyoti Banerjee (
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 00:45:58 EDT

From a Bengali's point of view (who has studied Bengali in Kindergarten from
'Barnparichay' [a bengali learner]), and after queries to some students of
Bengali I find the question of including A_zophola_aa as a valid form is
not justified. It is far better to include it as a glyph in the font.
In the original Bengali script it is an (unmentioned) rule that there is no
zophola after a character in the 'Swarabarna' (Bengali list of vowels).
zophola is allowed after characters in the 'Banjonbarna' (Bengali list of
As in most indic scripts(e.g. Devanagari) the 'at' symbol was incorporated
in bengali to include English sounds and to be able to write words like
'America'.In original Bengali there was no requirement for such a 'forced'
vowel. In this case Bengali was lucky because it already had a zophola with
which to take care of words like B-at, C-at etc whereas Devanagari had to
include the 'candra' (0945) sign for the same purpose to be able to write
English words.
The following words using zophola(or jophola as it is pronounced in Bengali)
from an exhaustive Bengali dictionary, will illuminate my point better.
1)Anh(A_zophola_aa_candrabindu) :: a word to express sound of surprise or
5) Amplifier
6) Alumunium
7) Acetylene
All the above words are written in Bengali using A_zophola_aa where only the
first word(which is a sound) can actually be considered a bengali word and
the rest all are derived from English.

As such there are exceptions to the common grammar in some scripts, which
are, however, included in the font encoding by many vendors (e.g. CDAC has a
single glyph for A_zophola_aa) and can be handled as an 'exception' to the
general form.
However I agree with you that the A-zophola- and E-zophola have not been
mentioned in ISCII or Unicode and at least a reference needs to be present.

D. Banerjee

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