Malayalam is an Indian language mainly spoken in the south west of the country, and particularly in Kerala and the surronding states. Spoken by approximately 38 million people, it is also present in Bahrain, Fiji, Israel, Malaysia,
Qatar, Singapore, UAE and the UK.
One of the interesting aspects of Brahmic scripts (of which Malayalam is a descendant) is that all consonants have an inherent vowel. Brahmic scripts use diacritics to modify this vowel, and viramas which are a type of diacritic to suppress the vowel entirely. For example:
- क is a consonant letter, ka,
- ् is a virama; therefore,
- क् (ka + virama) represents a dead consonant k.
Now chillus represent 6 pure consonants independently without using a virama- NN, N, RR, L, LL and K. These consonants are never followed by an inherent vowel.
We've added support for chillus using unicode 5.1 standards, which represent them atomically (that is as a single codepoint)- previously chillus were written by combining 3 different code points.