Marcia S. Suzuki, M.A.
Marcia S. Suzuki, M.A.
Marcia is the inventor of the 4 Questions Technique for generating UniSkript alphabets. After the initial research done by the UofN team in Kona to shape the concept of UniSkript, she spent several years researching phonological systems of languages from the five continents, and several different phonological theories in order to create a generative model which would allow any trained linguist to apply the general concept and create unique proto-UniSkript alphabets for any spoken language.
Marcia is a phonologist, linguistics researcher, lecturer and language project coordinator. After over two decades analyzing exotic languages of Amazon and China, Marcia became the first scholar to publish phonological descriptions of one of the of the most remote and unstudied language of Brazil. As a field linguist interested in learning not only the language, but the culture and worldview of isolated tribal groups, Marcia spent many years living in the jungles of the Amazon, working with the missionary humanitarian organization JOCUM. Her special areas of interest have been the analysis of deictic systems and phonological aspects of less studied languages. Because of her expertise in phonology, Marcia has developed orthographies for several unwritten languages, and has revised several alphabets at the request of Indigenous educators. Some of Marcia`s scientific papers have been published by UFRJ, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, PUCRS, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, as well as in some International Congresses of Linguistics. Marcia holds a Bachelor in Ethnolinguistics (UofN) and a Masters Degree in Linguistics (UFRO), and is fluent in 6 languages. She lives with her husband Edson M. Suzuki and their daughter Kanani Suzuki in Arizona, at the Navajo Reservation, where she works as a linguistics consultant for the Uniskript Research & Literacy Institute.
Several developments made by other UofN researchers provided the basis that allowed Marcia to create the 4 Questions Technique. The main contributors are listed below:
Edson M. Suzuki, M.A.
Edson M. Suzuki has played an essential role in developing the symbols for the the proto-uniskript matrix of UniSkript. His expertise in Articulatory Phonetics was key in understanding how to expand the original work of Dr. Cho into a system applicable to all sounds listed in the International Phonetic Alphabet Chart (IPA). His ability to recognize and reproduce any sound produced by speakers of any of the world's languages was developed after many years teaching articulatory phonetics in Brazil at UofN's campus in Porto Velho. Besides that he spent almost 20 years working as a humanitarian missionary with Indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin, decoding exotic and unstudied languages. In his master's degree thesis, Suzuki presented the first dissertation on the phonetics of the Suruwaha language of the Amazon. He also worked as an academic advisor helping educators from different Indigenous tribes in designing alphabets for their languages. Suzuki is currently developing a UniSkript based phonetic alphabet, aiming at helping phonetic transcribers to record linguistic raw data using a more intuitive alphabet than IPA. Suzuki holds a master's degree in Linguistics (UNICAMP), speaks 4 languages and lives with his family at the Navajo Reservation, where he works as a linguistics consultant for the Uniskript Research & Literacy Institute.
David Joel Hamilton, M.A.
David's main contribution to UniSkript was the idea of using parallel lines to represent vowels. This was an insight he had while some friends were praying for him as he tried to figure out a way to improve the work of Dr. Kim Cho. As they prayed, he visualized parallel lines representing vowels. He was who first saw the work of Dr. Kim Cho and envisioned all the possible applications for education.
David Hamilton is a veteran missionary and scholar who wrote his master's degree thesis on difficult Bible passages related to the ministry of women, an extensive work in which he cites some four hundred books and articles. David co-authored Courageous Leaders Transforming Their World and serves as one of the senior content editors for the Christian Growth Study Bible. He has served with the University of the Nations for more than twenty years, currently as Vice President for Innovations. David speaks 4 languages and lives in Hawaii with his family.
Youngshin Kim main contribution to Uniskript has been her skills as an strategizer and as a bridge between the Korean and the Western cultures, both involved in creation of this method. She is a Korean missionary who works as an administrator and researcher playing an important role in the development of Uniskript at UofN Kona campus. Since the beginning she worked closely with David Hamilton trying to understand the system created by Dr. Kim Cho and searching for the possible applications for her findings in the field. Being a fluent speaker of Korean and English allowed Youngshin to play an essential role in the fist stages of Uniskript development.
Mike R. Saia is responsible for developing Uniskript fonts and keyboards to over 30 languages. He worked with Youth With a Mission for seventeen years. He and his wife traveled extensively, teaching in missionary training schools, churches, and seminars.
After leaving the mission field in 1990, Mike spent 20 years working at Linguist’s Software, a font foundry for non-English fonts. This gives him the experience and skills necessary to convert the UniSkript glyph shapes into fonts for use on Macintosh and Windows computers. Mike also makes alternate keyboard resources for typing the UniSkript fonts.
Mike is a published author with a book on counseling that won the “Book of the Year” award from Cornerstone magazine. Mike also published books on theology including: Understanding the Cross, Why Pray?, Why Do the Innocent Suffer?, and Does God Know the Future?
Mike, his wife Carol, and their son Michael, live near Seattle in Washington State.
Joseph Avakian is a communicator, a thinker and a graphic designer. Working as a teacher at UofN Kona campus, he joined the Uniskript team to design the letters of the first Uniskript alphabets. He is also responsible for coining the term UniSkript.