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Re: Voynich letters (Gallows as code keys)
Nick Pelling wrote:
> Steve Ekwall's assertion that the characters inside each long gallows form
> part of a key seems reasonably likely - with the only annoying thing being
> that the number inside each varies.
First off, I'm not so sure about the key thing, too many repeated words
it seems, but maybe. Perhaps the 'ain' words and their brothers and
sisters are outside the key. Anyway, if you think it's a key, you may
not need to know what the key means to check your assumption. What
about writing a program that separated every 'line', a line being
defined as a gallows character and everything after that up until the
next gallows character. Then make files to analyze composed of only
lines that corresponded to a particular gallows.
Then in a second program look for 'keys' to play with, abcb in one
gallows code compared to other gallows code words that show patterns
like szxz, gvhv... in Perl /^\w(\w)\w\1$/, also try abbc and any other
dual or triple letter combos where the positions of the reduplicated
values is consistent. You could even allow for optional unencoded 'ain'
Also, compare word frequencies and letter frequencies. It would be
interesting if the characters inside the gallows showed up much more
often or not at all. For instance, if the key meant, "Hey, I'm leaving
these characters out of the text, fill them in as needed", or "Hey,
these are the wild cards, make an educated guess what they are supposed
to represent." Perhaps they are clues as to missing vowels in a vowel
less system, given as hints on lines where the author felt the code
might be too ambiguous, or maybe they are the word delimiters.