PARSIL – Script for all Indian Languages

Below are extracts very kindly shared by Shri. Shreyas Munshi from his book on PARSIL (Phonetic Alphabet for Romanization of Spellings in Indian Languages) Published by Cambridge University Press, Hyderabad, India. It is a paperback edition listed as ISBN 978-93-84463-38-0

 

CONTENTS (here)

 

1 Preface by Dr R P Bhatnagar
2 Foreword by Dr. Bell
3 Chapter 1 – PARSIL an Overview
4 Appendix A – Explanation of terms used (in alphabetical order)
5 Appendix H – Note from Anja Drame, Vienna
6 Acknowledgements

PREFACE

by Dr R P Bhatnagar

D.Litt. (Honoris Causa), Professor Emeritus,Formerly Professor and Chairman, Dept of English, University of Rajasthan; Guest Professor L N Mittal IIT, Jaipur.

Indian grammarians were the earliest phoneticians. All phonetics in the world today owes a deep debt to PANINI who gave to the world the first scientific Morpho-phonology some 2400 years ago.

The best western phonetic notation, now used all over the world, is IPA or International Phonetic Alphabet, first published in 1888 by the Association Phonetique Internationale, a group of French language teachers founded by Paul Passy. The model used by this was a phonetic script  for English created in 1847 by Isaac Pitman and Henry Ellis.

It will thus be seen that creation of a new scientific phonetic notations is a historical event which redounds to the credit of its creator(s). One such Major event is the creation of PARSIL……

….I have no hesitation in saying that Mr Shreyas Munshi’s original work shall go down in history as a landmark of scholarship and fecundity of mind. He has done yeoman’s service to the cause of pan-Indian language relationships.

…..R P Bhatnagar

Foreword By Dr. Bell

I have watched the development of the ideas underlying this publication for more than a year now and have, in the process, become increasingly impressed by the need for such a system and by the author’s dedication and sophistication. He has, I know, faced and dealt with tough questioning of his intentions and his solutions to the inherent problems of an enterprise such as this and, as a result, has come up with something which he can be proud of and which has substantial potential for positive change in the linguistic ecology of India.

The purpose of this foreword is to place this publication in its historical context. It is important to understand that what you are about to read is not just another pedestrian publication about writing systems and transliteration. It sits squarely in processes of development and language planning stretching over many thousands of years within which, I would suggest, it finds a very significant place.

For tens of thousands of years, the verbal system progressively replaced the gestural as the prime vehicle for the expression of cognitive meaning which it reduced to the subordinate level of “paralanguage”: a secondary, non conceptual, emotionally charged means of communication.

From this point on, “language” came to mean the spoken language and, in terms of prestige, after the reduction of speech to writing (only a few thousand years ago), the written language.

There is, necessarily, no direct link between the sound units of speech and those of any writing system devised to represent them. Sounds are continuous, ephemeral and broadcast multi-dimensionally in the air: letters (or their equivalents) are discontinuous, potentially permanent and represented in two dimensional texts.

The challenge for the creator of a writing system is to find a user friendly way of bridging the gap between the continuous aural nature of speech and the discontinuous visual nature of writing.

Writing systems are not, as might be supposed, straightforward devices for representing sounds. Many of them possess culturally significant value for the communities which use them. The choice of a writing system is far from being a neutral matter. It is a powerful cultural and political issue.

There are many examples worldwide: a major symbol of Kemal Attaturk’s modernizing revolution in Turkey in the 1920s was the replacement of Arabic by the roman alphabet; in the former Yugoslavia, Croatian and Serbian were combined as “Serbo-Croat”, with the first being written in the Roman and the second in the Cyrillic alphabet; “Malay” (in contemporary Malaysia) can be written either in Rumi (based on the roman alphabet) or Jawi (based on Arabic); in pre-Independence India (and present day India and Pakistan) Hindi is written in the Devanagari and Urdu in an Arabic-based script.

Every language in the world is a spoken tongue: the medium of communication within a speech community and the repository of its culture.

The written forms of Indian languages can trace their origins back over millennia and therefore possess enormous cultural value for their speech communities. Any attempt to replace, for whatever reason, these time-honoured writing systems must clash head on with ancient tradition. This is what, bravely (or recklessly, however you wish to look at it) the author of this book has attempted to do.

While accepting and celebrating the traditional writing systems, he has recognized the impediment they place before those attempting to learn a language with a different script from their own and offers a very user friendly system for transliterating Indian (and in principle other languages) into a common system.

The proposal is not in any way intended to devalue or replace the original writing systems but to provide a bridge between languages and cultures and, as a result, a mechanism for bringing Indians, whatever their linguistic and cultural backgrounds, together in the movement towards their recognition of a single, though marvellously diversified, society.

…Prof Roger T Bell, Ex-Professor of Linguistics, University of Westminster, UK and Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (London)

Ch. 1 PARSIL: An Overview

Since the readership of this book is likely to include scholarly linguists as well as lay readers, the subject area of PARSIL necessitates discussion on two different levels. Therefore, this first chapter is written for the benefit of common readers who could be otherwise well-educated but not academically familiar with the subjects of linguistics and phonetics. And yet, hopefully, the contents of this chapter would help even the scholarly linguists get a better overview of the book. The second chapter, although written mainly for scholars, is likely to be of interest to all readers since it provides a gateway into the field of writing systems.

What is PARSIL?

PARSIL is an acronym for Phonetic Alphabet for Romanization of Spellings in Indian Languages. (According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English OUP 1974, an acronym is a “word formed from the initial letters of words in a set phrase”). For example, IPA is the acronym for International Phonetic Alphabet, BCCI for ‘Board of Control for Cricket in India, POP for Plaster of Paris, IMF for International Monetary Fund and so on. PARSIL is a newly proposed writing system which, in essence, is an enriched and expanded Roman alphabet. The Roman alphabet is the alphabet used as the writing system in many modern-day languages, including English. PARSIL may be used for transcribing (graphically representing) Indian Language (IL) sounds as one hears them or for the transliteration of Indian Language (IL) texts (changing the script of IL texts to the PARSIL script). The aim of introducing PARSIL to the English-knowing users of Indian languages is two-fold:

  1. to preserve the sounds of Indian language (IL) words when they are Romanized;
  2. to bring India’s north and south closer phonetically.

General Layout of the Book

While the Table of Contents functions as a primer of the book’s contents, a quick description of the general layout of the book is provided below for the benefit of the readers.

There are ten chapters and ten appendices [Appendices A to J].

This chapter, Chapter One of the book, is devoted to enlightening the lay readers about the general concept and design of the book and the basics of the subject of Phonetics (which forms the basis of this book and with which many readers may not be very familiar). Chapter Two is intended primarily for scholars, but it should be accessible to non-professional readers as well, as mentioned earlier.

Chapter Three lists, describes and discusses, in detail, the PARSIL symbols.

Chapter Four presents a case, in greater detail, for the importance of PARSIL.

Chapter Five tries to respectfully note the idiosyncrasies of the speakers of Indian English (English-speaking Indians with a background of their rich grammatical traditions).

Chapter Six attempts to identify the root cause for the wrong pronunciation of IL words after they are transliterated into the Roman script.

Chapter seven provides the full chart of PARSIL.

While Chapter Eight explains how PARSIL does not adversely affect pure English writing, Chapter Nine demonstrates PARSIL in praxis by providing examples that should allay possible doubts about its viability. Most readers would greatly benefit by reading Chapter Nine after having understood the PARSIL symbols given in Chapter Three.

Chapter Ten is devoted to the attainment of one of the primary reasons for introducing PARSIL to the English-knowing users of Indian languages: to bring India’s north and south closer, phonetically. For this, the chapter takes as an example, a female name spelt with slight difference by north Indians and south Indians as ‘Sujata’ and ‘Sujatha’ respectively (the use of ‘ta’ and ‘tha’ being the difference between the two). The chapter shows how PARSIL can innovatively help both the north Indians and the south Indians in spelling the same name with complete linguistic validity, in one and the same way, as ‘Sujāтā’, where the smallcap letter ‘т’ is used in place of ‘t’ of ‘Sujata’ and ‘th’ of ‘Sujatha’. Similarly, all other words like ‘Sujata’/’Sujatha’ (involving ‘t’ and ‘th’ in their spellings) can be now spelt with complete linguistic purity by using the smallcap ‘т’ in place of ‘t’ and ‘th’ in the spellings. The chapter further tries to point out that the difference in graphic representation comes about because of one sound: the unaspirated unvoiced dental plosive, which is not heard in RP English and for which the normal 26-letter Roman alphabet cannot provide a common, truly representative symbol. (The expression ‘dental plosive’ is explained later in this chapter as well as in Appendix A. ) PARSIL provides the missing phonetic symbol and the name in question can now be spelt in one and the same way, with complete linguistic purity. Similarly, as mentioned above, this would apply to hundreds of similar words like: ‘Geeta’/’Geetha’, ‘Neeta’/’Neetha’ and others, which could then be spelt ‘Gīтȁ’, ‘Nīтā’ and the like, without loss of linguistic and phonetic purity.

After the chapters of the book, ten appendices follow, which will hopefully be of great help to readers. For example, Appendix G provides a tabulated chart for the comparison of alphabets of various writing systems; Appendix F demonstrates how the author has short-cut saved the PARSIL symbols on his keyboard (with the suggestion that the readers may use their own method for short-cut saving the required PARSIL symbols on their keyboards). In Appendix I the reader will find the full chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Appendix J discusses the inclusion in PARSIL of symbols for non-IL sounds that have crept in and have virtually got absorbed into the ILs and may very well be relevant in the future.

(After many paragraphs…..)

Limitations of the English Alphabet for IL transliteration

The Sanskrit alphabet has 49 characters (some Indian languages have more), whereas the English alphabet has only 26 characters and thus, transliterating Indian language words into English has naturally proved problematic. Yet, it must be acknowledged here that the currently used phonetic alphabets like IAST have brilliantly tackled the problem. They have used various diacritic marks with the help of which the same letter of the Roman alphabet can be (and is being) used for representing different Sanskrit sounds (and the Devanagari characters used for representing them). For example, in the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST), which is the most popular academic standard for the Romanization of Sanskrit, the normal ‘n’ stands for the dental nasal, ‘n’ with a dot above it [ṅ] stands for the velar nasal, ‘n’ with a dot below it [ṇ] stands for the retroflex nasal, and so on. Unlike most Indian languages, the RP variety of English does not have the sounds represented by the last two symbols [ṅ] and [ṇ].

(After many paragraphs….)

It needs to be mentioned here that the term ‘common reader’ does not stand for an ‘uneducated person’. The book assumes the ‘common reader’ to be an English-knowing user of Indian Languages. He/she would normally know how to use a dictionary and to read the pronunciation usually provided between two slanting lines after the relevant entry of the word in the dictionary.

(After many paragraphs….)

For the practical use of this book, however, the reader may follow the steps enumerated below:

  1. proceed directly to Appendix G, which gives a comparison of PARSIL with other writing systems currently used for the Romanization of Indian language words.
  2. refer to the chapter titled ‘Full PARSIL Chart’;
  3. see Appendix D, which provides examples of PARSIL phonetic symbols in use;
  4. refer to the IPA Chart at Appendix I (‘I’ for ‘India’);
  5. academically oriented readers may further refer to Appendix A of the book for explanation of terms that are used in the book.

It is hoped that the above introductory explanation would help readers in understanding the design of PARSIL symbols and in using them effectively.

End of Chapter one (15 pages)

Appendix A

Explanation of Terms Used (in alphabetical order)

In order to make this book accessible to the readers, given here is the explanation of certain terms used in this book.

For full-fledged definitions and academic details, the readers may refer to an academic book on Phonetics like A Course in Phonetics by Peter Ladefoged. E-books on phonetics are also available.

Allograph: It describes a particular printed or written form of a letter of the alphabet (or more technically of a GRAPHEME, explained in the alphabetical list below). Thus a lower-case 〈a〉, a capital 〈A〉, an italic 〈a〉, and a badly scribbled letter ‘a ’ are all allographs of the same grapheme.

Alveolar plosives: Roughly described, these are the sounds produced when the tip of the tongue touches the alveolar ridge (the area right above the back of the upper teeth), for example the first sounds of RP English T for table and D for doll.

Aspirated / Un-aspirated: Roughly described, an ‘aspirated’ sound is one with a puff of ‘h’ in it; an unaspirated sound has no puff of ‘h’ in it. These sounds may be voiced as well as voiceless (see the last entry in the list below for meaning of voiced and voiceless). For example, the first sound in Hindi ‘bhel’ IPA / bhel / (a popular fast food, especially in Mumbai) is aspirated and the first sound in Hindi ‘bel’ IPA /bel/ (creeper) is unaspirated. Similarly, the first sound of the Hindi word ‘g h ə ɖ ī ’ (moment) represented by digraph ‘gh’ is aspirated; but in Punjabi ‘gəɖɖī‘ (vehicle), the first sound represented by /g/ is unaspirated (un-aspirated voiced velar plosive). Unlike Indian languages, RP English has no aspirated consonants. For example, PARSIL ‘Bhəruch’ (name of a city in the Indian state of Gujarat) was pronounced by the British, during the British Raj, as ‘Broach’ in English, and PARSIL ‘BuDDhist’ (a follower of Buddhism) is pronounced, even today, as ‘Budist’ /bʊdist/ in English.

ASCII: The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII, pronunciation: /ˈæski/ ass-kee) is a character-encoding scheme originally based on the English alphabet. The ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that use text. Most modern character-encoding schemes are based on ASCII, though they support many more characters than ASCII does.

Dental plosives: Roughly described, these are the sounds produced when the tip of the tongue touches the back of the upper teeth, for example the first sounds of Hindi ‘teen’, IPA /ti:n/ (three) and ‘deen’, IPA /di:n/ (poor). RP English does not have these sounds.

Diphthong: In phonology, a diphthong (also called gliding vowel), refers to two adjacent vowel sounds occurring within the same syllable. In the RP variety of English, /e/ of ‘get’ glides into /i/ of /sit/ to produce the diphthong /ei/ of ‘eight’. In most dialects of English, the words eye, boy, and cow contain examples of diphthongs. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, pure vowels are transcribed with one letter each, as in English ‘sun’ [sʌn]. Diphthongs are transcribed with two letters, as in English ‘sign’ [saɪ̯n] or ‘sane’ [seɪ̯n]. The two vowel symbols are chosen to represent the beginning and ending positions of the tongue, though this can be only approximate.

Fricatives: Consonants, such as / f /, /v/, / θ / or / s / in English, produced by the forcing of breath through a constricted passage in the mouth, accompanied by audible friction, are called fricatives.

[In Sanskrit, the fricatives sh, ʂ and s are called ‘ushmən’ (heat producing sounds, the sibilants). /θ/ is not a Sanskrit or IL sound. The IL sound that comes acoustically close to it is ‘aspirated, unvoiced, dental plosive’ which may be transliterated in PARSIL as ‘тh’. The /f/ and /v/ are also not Sanskrit or IL sounds but because of influence of English, they are often pronounced as substitutes for the IL /ph/ and /w/. Till the writing of this book, the sounds f/ph and v/w are not meaning changing phonemes in IL].

Grapheme: The term grapheme stands for a minimal unit in a writing system, consisting of one or more symbols to represent a distinctive, ‘meaning-changing’ sound (called phoneme) in a language. The grapheme is to writing what the phoneme is to speech. In spelling systems that are non-phonemic – such as the spellings used most widely for written English – multiple graphemes may represent a single phoneme. For example, the word ‘ship’ contains four graphemes (s, h, i, and p) but only three phonemes, because ‘sh’ is a digraph (a pair of characters used to write one phoneme like ‘ea’ in ‘meat’ or ‘th’ in ‘path’). Conversely, a single grapheme can represent multiple phonemes: the English word ‘box’ has three graphemes, but four phonemes: / bɒks /.

Harvard-Kyoto: It’s a writing system for Indic languages. Compared to IAST (described below), Harvard-Kyoto, as a writing system, looks much simpler. It does not contain all the diacritic marks that IAST contains. This makes typing in Harvard-Kyoto much easier than in IAST. The short coming, if we say so, is that Harvard-Kyoto uses capital letters that appear unexpectedly in the middle of words and often make it difficult for a lay man to read.

Homograph: A homograph is a word or a group of words that share the same written form but have different meanings.

Homonym: In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings (in other words, are both homographs and homophones), usually as a result of the two words having different origins.

IAST: The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is the most popular academic standard for the Romanization of Sanskrit. IAST is the de-facto standard used in printed publications, like books and magazines, and with the wider availability of Unicode fonts, it is also increasingly used for electronic texts. Apparently, (unlike PARSIL) IAST was developed (and most competently at that!) before the Unicode Consortium published its exhaustive inventory of distinctive fonts, subsets and characters of languages of the world.

IPA: This is the abbreviation for the International Phonetic Association; it also stands for the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is used by many dictionaries to indicate pronunciation.

ITRANS: ITRANS is often said to be an extension of Harvard-Kyoto. Many web pages, as well as forums, are written in ITRANS. The ITRANS transliteration scheme was developed for the ITRANS software package, a pre-processor for Indic scripts. The user enters data in Roman letters and the ITRANS pre-processor converts the Roman letters into Devənāgərī (or other Indic scripts). Ref Wikipedia, ITRANS was developed by Avinash Chopde.

Minimal Pairs: In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words in a particular language, which differ in only one phonological element, such as a phoneme, and have a distinct meaning for each. For example, English ‘pin’ and ‘tin’, and Sanskrit ‘Tarun’ and ‘Varun’ constitute minimal pairs.

Palatal (sound): This is formed with some part of the tongue near or touching the hard palate posterior to the teeth ridge; for example, the ‘y’ of ‘yes’ and the ‘sh’ of ‘ship’ in English.

Phonemes: In most general terms, it may be said that two sounds are ‘phonemes’ in a language if substituting one for the other changes the meaning of a word. For example, /r/ and /l/ are phonemes in English because in the word ‘rip’, if the sound /l/ is substituted for the sound /r/, the word becomes ‘lip’, the meaning of which is altogether different from the original.

Phonetic transcription: This is the graphic representation of the sounds of a language using special, pre-agreed, graphic symbols (called phonetic symbols) so that these sounds can be reproduced later by reading out the said symbols. For example, the phonetic transcription, using the IPA symbols, of the Sanskrit word for ‘action’ as heard by a phonetician will be /kərmə/ (note, it is ‘as heard’, not ‘as written’ or ‘as silently read out’).

Retroflex: (adjective) bent or turned backward

Retroflex plosives: Roughly described, these are the sounds produced when the tongue curls backwards and back of the tip touches the palate; for example, the t-sound heard in Hindi ‘tamaatar’, /təma:tər/ tomato and the d-sound in Hindi ‘daaku’, IPA /ɖa:ku/ robber.

RP (Received Pronunciation): The accent of standard English. It is also referred to as BBC English or Queen’s English.

Sibilants: Among the fricatives, ‘sibilants’ are the ‘s’-like sounds. In English they are: /s/ in ‘bus’, /z/ in ‘buzz’, and the sounds represented by the IPA symbols / ʃ /, /ʒ/ / ʧ / and /ʤ/ in ‘hush’, ‘leisure’, ‘church’ and ‘judge’ respectively. In Sanskrit, they are ‘sh’ as in ‘Shyam’ proper noun, ‘ʂ’ as in ‘səṭkoɳ’ hexagon and ‘s’ as in ‘Sonī’ (Indian surname meaning ‘goldsmith’).

Transliteration into English: Changing the letters of words of a language into the corresponding characters of the Roman alphabet of English is called transliteration of those words into English. An example of such transliteration is changing the Sanskrit word for ‘action’ from Devanagari script to the spelling ‘karma’ in Roman script or changing it to ‘kərmə’ in PARSIL. Transliteration, unlike ‘phonetic transcription’ (described in an earlier paragraph under that heading), does not indicate pronunciation.

Translation: ‘Translation’ is quite different from ‘Transliteration’. It must be noted that translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. But while doing so, care is taken to see that the meaning is preserved.

Unicode: Unicode is a computing industry standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in most of the world’s writing systems. Developed in tandem with the Universal Character Set standard and published in book form as The Unicode Standard, Unicode consists of a repertoire of more than 100,000 characters.

Voiced/Voiceless: a voiced sound is one in which the vocal cords vibrate, and a voiceless sound is one in which they do not. For example, the first sound of the English word ‘bin’ is voiced, and that of ‘pin’ is voiceless.

Appendix H

Contribution from Vienna, Austria, by Ms Anja Drame

Deputy Director and Member ISO TC/37

Topic: PARSIL and International Standardization

For readers of Shreyas Munshi’s book on PARSIL, I have the pleasure of submitting my contribution, as follows:

Shreyas Munshi, the author of the book ‘Introducing PARSIL’, needs to be commended for more reasons than just writing the book. In my opinion, the reasons for which he needs to be commended are three in number:

One, for his bold attempt at shedding the old mindset and ‘going all out’ in taking full advantage of the advanced and advancing PC technology for transliteration of Indian language words into English, which is now a ‘global language’;

Two, for opting in favour of ‘standardization’ by downloading and using the internationally accepted standard IPA symbols and the Unicode fonts, and

Three, for presenting the reader-friendly special purpose phonetic alphabet PARSIL to the world-wide English-knowing users of Indian languages.

Munshi himself, probably, does not realize it but since I have been actively involved in the field of intercultural communication and in the development of international standards for the last so many years, I view PARSIL from a different perspective…an international perspective.

In the author’s own words, he has “envisioned PARSIL not as a ‘one-off’ innovation but as a dynamic writing system open to continual improvement”.

With such a lofty visionary philosophy, I can easily see PARSIL’s potential to grow into a standard which would help not only the Indians, but also the international community, to study, and benefit from, the scores of centuries old, culturally rich, Indian languages. Now they need to learn only the languages of India, not their scripts.

Standardization (I talk about it again and again and whenever I get an opportunity because that is my chosen field of activity!) which PARSIL could bring in, could make the above mentioned potential surely realizable.

In addition, Munshi perhaps does not see what I can foresee because of my experience in the field of standardization;

and that is that PARSIL, because of standardization of phonetic symbols, could open up a brand new industry in India: that of transliteration (at present, it is only the translation industry). I can explain it as follows:

Surveys and reports bring out the important fact that a good percentage of India’s young today study or want to study in English medium schools. They do speak their mother tongue at home and with their close friends but most of them do not know how to read their mother tongue and write in it. And because of this, they often remain unaware of the rich culture and beauty contained in the literature of their own mother tongues. Here, the reader-friendly PARSIL using the internationally accepted standardized symbols would now help such children, for the first time, to actually enjoy ‘reading’ the language, the spoken form of which, as Munshi says, they already know!

The reader-friendly PARSIL can work and create even new employment opportunities and bring diverse groups together.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

While I have many people to thank for this bold presentation, I must honestly state that there are three persons whose names easily come first to my mind.

First of all, I must thank Prof Ravi Kumar, the founder president of Indian Translators Association and Convener of the “National Conference: Language & Translation Industry of India –  Opportunities and Challenges, 17-18 April 2009, New Delhi”, for inviting me as a Guest Speaker at the Conference and giving me an opportunity to make, in front of an enlightened group of Indian and International scholars, a power-point presentation of my small Research work on a writing system for transliteration into English of Indian language words. He and his highly qualified wife Ms Jaspreet Kaur, in their professional wisdom, saw some merit in what I had to say and invited me to speak, although I am not a translator!

My grateful thanks go also to Prof R P Bhatnagar, Ex-Professor and Chairman of Department of English, University of Rajasthan, and Prof Roger T Bell, Ex-Professor of Linguistics, University of Westminster, UK and Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (London), for more than one reason.

The eighty-plus Dr Bhatnagar advised me to go full steam ahead and make my research available to society in general for gainful use. He, later, was kind enough to agree to write a Preface for my book.

Dr Bell, as a linguist, introduced me for the first time in my life to the language EWE spoken in Togo; Dr Bell brought to my notice how EWE has developed a writing system using the IPA and non-IPA Phonetic symbols. Encouraged by those words, I got down to putting my humble research effort into the form of a small book. Prof Bell has made very valuable comments and suggestions on my submission and has also graciously obliged me by writing the Foreword to my book.

Besides the above three scholars, I am highly indebted to the scholarly lady Ms Anja Drame from Vienna, Austria. Ms Drame is the Deputy Director and Member ISO TC/37. She has been relentlessly working for international standardization and after painstakingly reviewing my presentation, has written an elaborate article on the topic: “PARSIL and International Standardization” and to do justice to her zeal and passion for the subject, I have assigned a full appendix for her writing (Appendix H).

Proofreading is a difficult job and it becomes all the more demanding when the writing, of the type as is mine, includes not only technical and non-technical terms but also some innovative symbols; and for executing this arduous task of initial proof reading, and for making many valuable suggestions (many of which I accepted), I sincerely thank Prof Zarine Arya, ex-Head of the Department of English, Kirti College, Mumbai. After her initial proof reading, I have made changes and additions, because of which, I am told, a fresh proof- reading would be required.

My grateful thanks go also to Dr Dhananjay Madhukar Vaidya, who, besides being a Medical Graduate and Researcher (MBBS,PhD) at the Johns Hopkins Institute, Baltimore, Md, USA is an accomplished Sanskrit scholar. Dr Vaidya has helped me via emails in understanding many issues of Sanskrit including the ‘anuswaar’ by giving good doubt-removing examples. His profile on the Google says all about his research work in the medical field as well.

And finally, I must thank Cambridge University Press India, Hyderabad for his exacting evaluation of my work and conveying to me that “CUP India will be happy to accept” my publishing proposal. If my humble submission reaches people engaged in the field of transliteration, my grateful thanks would certainly go to CUP for publishing my book.

Shreyas Munshi, MA (Linguistics)

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