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VMs: Re: VMS Quires

--- Nick Pelling <incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> > [RZ:] A real problem is posed by the foldouts.
> > Why are they there in the first place?
> > Did the author only have some leftover pieces of
> > vellum that could not be cut to the proper size?
> > Then if so, shouldn't they be at the end of the
> > book (either physically, or [chrono]logically)?
> That depends on whether you think the foldouts are
> integral to the text, or 
> just interesting-looking appendices. I suspect the
> former, but it's hard to 
> make a definitive call one way or another. :-/

Almost all foldouts are still subdivided into
page-size panels, so with the exception of the
9-ring page, there is no specific reason to
have these odd-sized pages. The big exception is of
course quite deliberate...
A minor exception is formed by the two pharma
pages which span over two panels, and we cannot
(yet) decide whether that was necessary or not. :-/

I also think that the foldouts are an integral
part of the MS (text).

> >According to the digraph statistical analysis
> >I once did, the text characteristics of the text
> >on the foldout pages marks a transition from A
> >to B language. {Since Currier largely used the text
> >on normal pages for his analysis, he found the
> >two distinct sets which he called A and B.}
> >So also in this context they are not the 'end'
> >of the document.
> Did you ever check the degree to which label text
> and non-label text differs on the foldouts?

The label words (at least in the zodiac section)
are a very separate group of words. I don't know 
if that is true for the digraph statistics, but
it is certainly true for its non-adherence to
Zipf's law.

> For example, I suspect that the text labelling the
> stars on the astro 
> "volvelle" pages has quite different stats from the
> text contained in the 
> rings.

Label words or words very similar to them also
occur in the rings, but they are complemented by
other ones (typically the usual shorter words).

> Could the transition you observed be an indication
> of two languages co-existing on the same page?

Not really. There are some words that only occur
on the pharma pages. And if there is a combination
of languages, then the transition is also gradual.
The funny thing is: the transition section is 
essentially the combined pharma+astro section.
This is half 'plants' and half 'stars and nymphs'.
The A-language is essentially on the 'plants'
side of the transition and the B-language on the
'stars and nymphs' side. The notable exception is
formed by the subset of herbal pages in B language. 

I once imagined that the VMs could be the product
of two authors, who wrote about two different topics
and started with a common understanding or
agreement of the language. One did plants,
starting with the pharma section, and the other
'stars and nymphs', starting with the zodiac.
Their language usage and handwriting then diverged.
Mr. 'B' could be finished first (since he wrote 
faster) and he could have done some of the herbal
Stolfi already once observed that the pharma pages
could have been done first (based on the drawings).

My problem is, though, that it does not make
much sense that they would have started on the
foldout pages.

Another observation is that the main distinction
between the two 'languages', which is the occurrence
of Eva 'd' (Currier 8) after Eva 'e' (Currier C)
in a number of words, starts to appear in the course 
of the zodiac section. This could be explained in
various different ways, some of which support the 
above hypothesis, while others don't.

> Also: if part of the cipher was based on a number
> code, that code may only 
> have been a good match for certain subject matters,
> but a bad match for 
> others - that too could be a driver for two apparent
> languages (within a 
> single code).

Number code or artificial language, they could 
behave in a similar manner. Maybe new codes had
to be made up 'on the fly' as new words appeared
in the text.

Cheers, Rene

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