Presenting a new, universal script applicable to all the world’s languages
which addresses the serious deficiencies of the International Phonetic
alphabet and also addresses the concept of “phonemic idiosyncrasy” for the
first time ever in any world script.
This book presents a new, universal script, denoted NAVLIPI, capable of
expressing all the world’s languages, from English and Arabic, to tonal
languages such as Mandarin, to click languages such as !Xo Bushman.
Based on the Roman script, NAVLIPI uses just five new or transformed
letters (glyphs) in addition to the 26 Roman letters; it uses no diacritics,
rather making heavy use of “post-ops”, post-positional operators. Its
expression is very intuitive and highly amenable to cursive writing,
keyboarding and voice transcription. The book incorporates more than 620
detailed references in linguistics and related fields.
It addresses the concept of “phonemic idiosyncrasy” for the first time ever in
any world script.
NAVLIPI incorporates essential features of a universal script, thus far present
in no world script to date, such as universality, completeness,
distinctiveness, and practical phonemic application. Most importantly,
NAVLIPI addresses phonemic idiosyncrasy, for the first time ever in any
world script; among other things, phonemic idiosyncrasy makes transcription,
in the same script, of, e.g. Mandarin and English, or Hindi/Urdu and Tamil,
extremely difficult. NAVLIPI also addresses the serious deficiencies of the
alphabet of the International Phonetic Association and may assist in the
preservation of endangered languages.
Nicholas Ostler observes: “NAVLIPI is a systematic extension of Roman
script with a number of aims in view: To be a practical (legible and writable)
script for all the world’s languages, but at the same time to represent the
languages’ sounds exactly and consistently, making no compromises on the
phonemic principle. It goes beyond existing scripts: Beyond ordinary Roman
scripts, because it requires that its symbols are interpreted the same way
everywhere; beyond phonetic scripts such as that of the IPA, by
representing phonemes singly, rather than as a set of phones; and beyond all
the other scripts, by attempting to replace every single one of them without
loss of significant phonetic detail.
This is a stupendous aim for a single system created by a single scholar.
“The main obstacle to Chandrasekhar’s achievement is the phenomenon of
“phonemic idiosyncrasy”, whereby the actual speech sounds are organized
into different, and cross-cutting, significant sets in various languages: For
example, p, whether aspirated or un-aspirated, is the same phoneme in
English, but the two versions belong to contrasting phonemes in Hindi, where
(however) f is heard as the same sound as aspirated-p. By juxtaposing
letters, Chandrasekhar conjures up new symbols that represent directly the
complex phonemic reality. The attempt to have all the possible virtues of a
phonetic writing system at once - on the basis of a single man’s ideal - is
what makes this a heroic endeavour.”