[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Voynich (Left to Right or Right to Left text?)
> [Dana Scott:] While I am not a linguist, it seems to me rather
> unlikely that the VMS text was written and meant to be read from
> right to left. [arguments based on letter frequencies]
I think that the strongest argument for left-to-right reading order is
the shape of the text. Most paragraphs consist of a set of whole
lines, ending with a *left-justified* partial line. Also, the left
margin of a paragraph, where it is not constrained by figures, is
generally straighter than the right margin. Finally, text is often
squeezed when it runs against a figure on the right side, but
not on the left side.
There are many other secondary hints. For instance, the "bullets" in
the starred paragraph section, as well as the "item labels" on certain
"table" pages, are placed on the left side of the text. The fanciest
ornate letters are usually found at the top left corner of the page.
Also, magnification of the best images seems to show that the angle at
which the pen was held is better suited to LR writing.
>From all these hints, I am satisfied that the VMS --- more precisely,
the one at Beinecke --- was written left-to-right, top-to-bottom ---
i.e. the standard European writing order.
Of course, there is still the possibility that the book was
originally written R-to-L, but copied in the reverse direction,
either due to the scribe's ignorance, or for added secrecy...
> [ZOwens:] the names have not changed much even though the
> languages have (For example the angel michael retains pretty
> much the same pronunciation from hebrew to english).
*Some* names changed little, but some changed a lot: