Re: Classification of Tamil Aytam [Was: Script Names]

Date: Mon May 22 2000 - 20:46:13 EDT

The word Aytham can be loosely translated as Diacritics. It is much more than
diacritics. A kind of descriptive tool. A kind of cognising tool.

1/ "Th": Here the 'h' in English acts as an aytham and not as a consonant.
2/ "PH" Here the 'H' in Tamil acts as an aytham. (eg: muppaH instead of
3/ Some Tamil words with 'H' found in Tholharpiyam, the book of grammar
Hhan, maHhan, muppaH, eHhu, kaHsu, kaHdu, aHthu, iHthu, kaHriithu, muHdiithu,
aHhak, aHriNai, raHhan, otupaHthu, loH
4/ Representing additional sounds. (probably started about 300 to 400 years
    f =Hv, q=Hk, ....
5/ proposed uses: Grouping, classifying and condensing of international

6/ some words and their meanings.
    aytham: "cognising tool".
    ayvu : "learn and describe", "research and describe"
    ayutham: "tool", "weapon"
    arai : research

For more information:
1/ refer to "Tholharpiyam"
2/ refer to my articles on "Tamil Research"


<< Mark Davis wrote on the Unicode list:
> Why do you think that U+0B83 should be an L*?
> Antoine Leca wrote:
> > - this also remains me of the status of Tamil aytam U+0B83 "TAMIL SIGN
> > VISARGA", which is tagged "Mc", while it appears it may be a real letter
> > instead (but it cannot begin a word)
 ["Mc" means "combining mark", that is the classification of the visargas.]
 Well, I defer to the Tamil experts (I hope there are some of them since that
 Tamil Nadu have decided to participate to the Unicode consortium).
 Anyway, here is my analysis:
 Based on several sources (among these, Dr. Stone's pages at
 while the references can be reached from
 I understand that unification (in ISCII) of visarga with the Tamil symbol
 named ‚ytam is not completely true, and should be taken with care.
 Then, from some (written) conversations with Tamil speaking persons,
 I got the impression that ‚ytam is viewed much like another letter,
 and quite not as a modifier like the visarga is. For example, visarga
 is never shown alone, but always follows a vowel, usually independent a.
 OTOH, aaytam was spelled independently by Tamil speakers when I asked
 them about the collating order.
 But as I said before, this is much more personnal impression rather than
 a definitive option, and I am sure Tamil people should be more trusted
 than I am on this subject. For example, I have no idea of the way
 Sanskrit visargas are written when the Grantha script is used (assuming
 that the Grantha script should re-use the Tamil codepoints, which is
 another debate).

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