I'm looking for an Oriya font with full support for the traditional consonant-vowel ligatures and consonant conjuncts.

For example, if we go to the Wikipedia page on the Oriya/Odia alphabet, we find:

Vowel diacritics may be more or less fused with the consonants, though in modern printing such ligatures have become less common.

And beneath this a table showing all of the consonant-vowel combinations in Oriya, including many irregular ones such as ki:

enter image description here

And tu:

enter image description here

You can also see from the Omniglot article (and the Wikipedia one, too, if your font supports them) that Oriya has a very wide range of possible consonant ligatures, such as kka:

enter image description here

And kta:

enter image description here

I am looking for an Oriya font which is capable of rendering all of the consonant-vowel ligatures in the Wikipedia article, all of the consonant-consonant ligatures in the Omniglot article, and every base character in the Oriya Unicode block (U+0B00-U+0B7F).

I have tried a number of fonts, including Utkal, FreeSerif and Nirmala UI. All three fonts are attractive options - Nirmala UI especially so. Nirmala UI is also the font used in the Omniglot article and obviously has support for all of the conjunct consonants in that article, but where they all fall down is that none of them support the ligatures of consonant and vowel diacritics shown on the Wikipedia article, e.g. from Nirmala UI:

enter image description here

Although Nirmala UI does at least have a ligature for tu but it is not in the traditional style.

The font used in the images on the Wikipedia article, I happen to know, is e-Oriya OT. I was once the proud user of this very font, but it is no longer to be found online (it used to be available from the University of Hamburg) and I lost my copy when my old laptop went kaput.

Does anyone have any suggestions? For reference, I will be using this font in a short article about the script itself, so the only real requirement is full support for the variant and rare glyphs I wish to show. It should also be clean, neat and ideally sans-serif, but this is not essential. I have no strong aesthetic requirements, but I'm thinking more something that would look good in a novel or even a newspaper, rather than something that would go on a poster or a front cover. Creative, or faux-handwriting fonts would be unsuitable.

Edited to add:

For my documents, I usually use XeLaTeX, which has the ability to make use of OpenType features. This is quite niche, though, so for people willing to offer help, I also use LibreOffice Writer (version 5) and Inkscape (version 0.91). This is on Ubuntu version 16.04. I also have access to a Mac with a slightly old version of Pages and I could certainly borrow a Windows machine with a modern version of Word for printing purposes.

Regarding the problem characters, I know that Nirmala UI can support consonant-consonant ligatures, but here's a variety of samples in Unicode

କ୍କ kka, କ୍ଟ kṭa, କ୍ତ kta, କ୍ର kra, କ୍ଳ kla, କ୍ଷ kṣa, କ୍ଷ୍ଣ kṣṇa (wrong glyph used in the otherwise excellent Omniglot article)

The consonant-vowel ligatures which I really can't get (although a font with both would be ideal, but I could use two different fonts) include:

କି ki, ଚି ci, ଛି chi, ଜି ji, ଡି ḍi, ଡ଼ି ṛi, ତି ti, ଦି di, ନି ni, ବି bi, ଵି vi, ଭି bhi, ରି ri, ଳି li, ଲି ḷi, ହି hi

କୁ ku, କୃ kr̥, ତୁ tu, ତୃ tr̥, ବୁ bu, ବୃ br̥, ଵୁ vu, ଵୃ vr̥, ଭୁ bhu, ଭୃ bhr̥

You can see how they should look by consulting Wikipedia, or to make things more convenient:

enter image description here

enter image description here

But hopefully having the Unicode will make it easier to experiment.

  • 1
    ".. an Oriya font which is capable of rendering all of the consonant-vowel ligatures .." Are you sure your software supports the required OpenType features? Having a font which contains the necessary definitions is only half of the story. – Jongware Oct 8 '16 at 21:00
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    @RadLexus In this case, unfortunately for me, I am quite sure. The images of the desired consonant vowel ligatures you see there are screenshots I took from a document I wrote with e-Oriya OT before the old laptop crashed. I got a new laptop and I suppose things might be different, but I'm using the same setup I was then. A few updates may have come and gone, but the images you see of Nirmala UI are also screenshots I produced and you can see it manages a ligature with ତୁ tu, just not the traditional one. I can also do all the consonant-consonant ligatures with Nirmala UI no problem. – Au101 Oct 8 '16 at 21:18
  • I fear the issue with କି ki for example is font based, the traditional ligatures, as Wikipedia says, appear not to be bothered with nowadays. (It should be noted of course, it's not just one charachter, there's chi, nti, etc. etc., ki is just an example). Ordinarily I'd take my medicine, but as I'm writing something about the script itself, I really need to be able to show the rare glyphs – Au101 Oct 8 '16 at 21:18
  • Can you edit your question and add what software you are using? That way we can test candidate fonts for the correct rendering of ligatures. (Just a thought: if Wikipedia renders your characters correctly, you could use that same font. (It may need some sleuthing down their font stack.)) – Jongware Oct 8 '16 at 22:07
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    @RadLexus Wikipedia uses e-Oriya OT. It was part of a font/software package called indolipi, which was designed by a man named Elmar Kniprath, and used to be available from the University of Hamburg, where I believe he must have once worked. Neither Indolipi, nor e-Oriya OT specifically, are available from the University of Hamburg, and none of the many links online now work. A couple of fonts which were part of Indolipi are still available individually, such as e-Vatteluttu – Au101 Oct 8 '16 at 22:22

This is a very specific question, and you might have more luck asking where there might be more people familiar with Odia/Oriya.

Without understanding exactly what you're looking for, may I suggest you take a look at Noto Sans Oriya ? The Google Noto family is modern and hight quality, so it might have the features you need.

  • 2
    Unfortunately it doesn't, it renders କି ki like Nirmala UI, however, this is a very nice font, and actually a good one to know about. I love the principle of what Google's doing here. I know asking about Oriya here was a long shot, but it seems like a pretty long shot everywhere! At least, certainly if you don't speak Oriya. But this is why I thought I'd give graphicdesign.SE a go, as, if there's a community that's likely to have access to a broad range of fonts to try, it's likely to be this one :) – Au101 Oct 7 '16 at 13:06

Odia OT Jagannatha has a few of the old style conjunct vowel ligatures (i kar and ii kar) but that's it. The old style is gone and there is little in terms of reward for designing an Odia font with such a niche use.

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