India had handled interesting word structures from very early times. Palindromes
form interesting word structures. Basically the word reads the same when
read either way, from left to right or right to left.
One sees many palindromes
in English and there are groups devoting times to detecting palindromes.
Surprisingly many long palindromes have been identified but they do not
make sense when read in the context of a word or a sentence. Indian poets
have handled palindromes remarkably well in their works and these are amazingly
constructed word structures which make perfect sense and convey a meaning
as well. Sanskrit and Tamil Literature abound in such creations.
Unlike the English
Language palindromes where the letters of the alphabet forming the word
(or sentence) are read one by one in reckoning the mirror image structure,
Palindromes in Sanskrit and Tamil are reckoned by identifying the aksharas
(syllables) and not the consonants and vowels. As a result, one cannot
simply look at the internal representation of the text and perform a string
match by comparing the forward and reverse text string unless of course
the representation conforms to a syllabic form.
Unicode or other representation which are based on fonts do not directly
store syllables in fixed sized storage units and so it will be rather difficult
to take a string and check it to see if its a palindrome. The internal
representation used by the IITM software does correspond to a syllable
level handling of the aksharas and so is well suited for text processing
in Sanskrit or other indian languages. Interested readers may visit the
page discussing the limitations
seen in using ISCII or Unicode for electronic processing of text in indian
Given below are some
examples of interesting palindromes seen in Sanskrit and Tamil Poetry.
Considering the fact that the associated poems were composed hundreds of
years ago, it goes to establish the fact that linguistics as a science
had been perfected in India from the very beginning.