Context Sensitive Shape-Substitution in Nastaliq Writing System: Analysis and Formulation

  • Aamir Wali
  • Sarmad Hussain


Abstract- Urdu is a widely used language in South Asia and is spoken in more than 20 countries. In writing, Urdu is traditionally written in Nastaliq script. Though this script is defined by well-formed rules, passed down mainly through generations of calligraphers, than books etc, these rules have not been quantitatively examined and published in enough detail. The extreme context sensitive nature of Nastaliq is generally accepted by its writers without the need to actually explore this hypothesis. This paper aims to show both. It first performs a quantitative analysis of Nastaliq and then explains its contextual behavior. This behavior is captured in the form of a context sensitive grammar. This computational model could serve as a first step towards electronic Typography of Nastaliq.


Initial Form Medial Form Initial Shape Contextual Form Arabic Script 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aamir Wali
    • 1
  • Sarmad Hussain
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  2. 2.NUCES

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