[XeTeX] Polyglossia and Sanskrit

François Patte francois.patte at mi.parisdescartes.fr
Sun Oct 5 12:55:16 CEST 2008

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Le 05.10.2008 10:29, Daniel Stender a écrit :
> Yves Codet wrote:
>> I wonder if this behaviour of Polyglossia should not be changed. 
>> Actually Sanskrit has no proper script, or it has many. If
>> Devanagari is often preferred nowadays if does not mean that it is
>> *the* Sanskrit script. I would be interested to know what members
>> of the list think.
> I think principally that's right. I don't know what is the case with
> other scripts than Devanagari, but it could be argued that there are
> even differences in hyphentation between Devanagari and
> transliteration (that means romanized Sanskrit), while Devanagari
> hyphens Akshara-wise that could be handled more freely in
> Romanization: "satyam eva jayate" is possible instead of "satyameva
> jayate" which results in "sa-tyam e-va ja-ya-te" instead of
> "sa-tya-me-va ja-ya-te"
> Furthermore I think a separated hyphenation pattern for romanization
> is needed, for example nobody hyphens "ga-ccha-ti" but "gac-cha-ti",
> isn't it?

This problem has been argued a long time ago (Indology, Wujastik and co).

Practice of Sanskrit manuscripts shows that there is absolutely no
pattern to hyphenate a text in Indian scripts, the scribe writes his
text continuously and goes to the following line anywhere inside a word.
So the akshara model seems to be a good (and I think easy) solution. But
I am wondering if the same file can be use to automatically hyphenate a
Sanskrit text whatever the script. I you have a text in grantha script,
as there are less ligatures in this script than in denanagari, can we
use the same hyphen-file with xe(la)tex?

Moreover, for grantha, there is not yet an unicode scheme for this
script and the only fonts I found uses the unicode Bengali scheme!

For translitteration in roman script, I believe that there is an
influence of the habits of the typographical rules used by the person
who translitterates a text; for instance I am wondering if "ga-ccha-ti"
is not possible for English people, who could write "go-ing", while
French, and maybe others, will write "gac-cha-ti"?

- --
François Patte
UFR de mathématiques et informatique
Université Paris Descartes
45, rue des Saints Pères
F-75270 Paris Cedex 06
Tél. +33 (0)1 44 55 35 61
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