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Re: Voynich letters
I'm moving forward (I think). Looking again at the astrology pages (that I
have), I was surprised to find that there was only one really obvious crib
- on the Pisces page (f70v2), which is the first one of the astrological
set, there is a nice clear label next to the two fishes - in EVA,
"otolal" (some see it as otalal, etc).
Now, fitting this into my current VMS picture:-
the initial "o" --> "the"
the gallows "t" --> one of [ p t s k]
(and the remaining letters would be mapped according
to the translation map for the selected gallows. These
would likely be high-frequency letters, like vowels and "s")
However, what I also find interesting is that there are *no* similar cribs
for any of the other astrological pages.
My hunch is that the author wrote something like "Pisces" in, then thought
to himself - "what a donkey I am, if I do the same for the other 11 signs,
it'll be far too easy to crack!". He then tried to make it look as though
it was a star name.
Which would mean that it should be easy to crack, if we remember to keep
our eye on the ball.
So: if we make even a completely simplistic guess at the letters based on
the constraints I've built up above, we come up with:-
EVA "otolal" --> "<the> pises"
I also suspect that EVA "da<in>" --> "kai" [Greek "and"], so I'm
comfortable with EVA "d" --> "k". And also because of the Greek lettering
idea, I'm comfortable with EVA "y" --> <eta>, which is very much like <e
acute>, if we're transliterating between languages.
This is interesting, because on f67r1, there's the big astrological
diagram, one of which is labelled as "otaldy"... which would translate as
"<the> pesk<e acute>" - "the fish". This appears very nearly identically
on f70v2 as well, as "otaldar" - "<the> peske<?>"
"Lou Pescadou", a very nice fish restaurant in Marseillan in the South of
France, is named after the Oc word for "fisherman". So at the time of the
VMS, there were numerous active languages with pesc- as a root for fish
[never mind the precise grammar for now]. :-/
If even these two fragments are in some way correct, it points to the VMS
having probably *no* underlying language as such - it would be a hotchpotch
of words from multiple Mediterranean languages (old and new), chosen so as
to avoid repetition.
But perhaps this is progress! :-)))))
All comments welcome!
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....