Deccan Lipi is a simplified and modernised script based on the Grantha Lipi script devised by Punya Pranava Pasumarty. It is designed for writing Sanskrit and all South Indian languages, although it can be used for most other Indian languages as well.
The script is aimed to be simpler than Grantha Lipi in the following ways:
Deccan Lipi uses 27 consonant letters (with an inherent 'a' sound) which basically consist of those letters used in Sanskrit and the South Indian languages excluding the aspirated stops. They are shown in the top part of the image below (labelled with Kannada and Tamil equivalents):
There is also a 28th letter called the ‘vowel holder’. This is shown here in the lower part of the image, labeled with ‘ಅஅ’, because it sounds like the inherent ‘a’ sound on its own. By attaching vowel marks to it, the vowel holder is used to represent stand-alone vowels in Deccan Lipi. These vowel marks shown here on the vowel holder (shown in grey), are labeled with equivalents in Kannada and Tamil. These marks can also be used on any of the 27 main consonants to impart the respective vowel sound to it.
To form consonant clusters, the consonant letters in question are just attached to each other at the top. There are no special ligatures involved here, with a couple of exceptions discussed later. Vowel marks can also be attached to consonant clusters to give the syllable a vowel sound. The mark must be placed around the entire cluster, spanning its entire length when needed, so that the consonants stay connected together.
The symbols on the right part of the image labeled in purple are the following. They are the vowel nasalizing mark (chandrabindu/arasunna) labeled as ‘ఁ’, the ‘ardha-visarga’ mark (used for Sanskrit jihvamuliya and upadhmaniya sounds) labeled as ‘ᳲ’ and the ‘pluta’ vowel extension mark labeled as ‘३’, from left to right. These are not used very frequently.
The mark labeled ‘(double-next)’ is used to double the following consonant sound; its function is like the ‘adhak’ ’ ‘ੱmark of Gurmukhi script. The mark labeled as ‘(aspirate)’ looks similar to the double-next mark, but is placed below the letter in question to aspirate it (this is used mainly for the stop consonants), i.e. [k] with this mark becomes [kʰ].
There are a few simple ligatures used in Deccan Lipi which involve the letter for [g] and some of the vowel marks. Only the [g] letter has a vertical staff to the right, so combining some of the more vertical vowel marks to its right side can become cumbersome. In these cases, the vowel mark replaces the vertical staff, thus forming a ligature. These are shown below:
At the bottom of this image are 4 special symbols used in Deccan Lipi. The 2 symbols at the bottom right are ligatures for some conjunct consonant pairs, those of the ‘jña’ and ‘ ra’ conjuncts, which do not sound much like their constituent letters, thus deserving their own symbols. The 2 symbols at the bottom left are the Deccan Lipi versions of the rupee ‘₹’ and OM ‘’ ॐ symbols.
This is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Sanskrit, Kannada and Tamil, in handwritten in Deccan Lipi.
सर्वे मानवाः स्वतन्त्राः समुत्पन्नाः वर्तन्ते अपि च, गौरवदृशा अधिकारदृशा च समानाः एव वर्तन्ते। एते सर्वे चेतना-तर्क-शक्तिभ्यां सुसम्पन्नाः सन्ति। अपि च, सर्वेऽपि बन्धुत्व-भावनया परस्परं व्यवहरन्तु।
ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಾನವರೂ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರರಾಗಿಯೇ ಜನಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಹಾಗೂ ಘನತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಹಕ್ಕು ಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮಾನರಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ. ವಿವೇಕ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಕರಣ ಗಳನ್ನು ಪಡೆದವರಾದ್ದರಿಂದ ಅವರು ಪರಸ್ಪರ ಸಹೋದರ ಭಾವದಿಂದ ವರ್ತಿಸಬೇಕು.
மனிதப் பிறவியினர் சகலரும் சுதந்திரமாகவே பிறக்கின்றனர்; அவர்கள் மதிப்பிலும் உரிமைகளிலும் சமமானவர்கள். அவர்கள் நியாயத்தையும் மனசாட்சியையும் இயற்பண்பாகப் பெற்றவர்கள். அவர்கள் ஒருவருடனொருவர் சகோதர உணர்வுப் பாங்கில் நடந்துகொள்ளல் வேண்டும்.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
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