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VMs: RE: Qoteedy nine

John wrote:
> 	Well, I think you already know my answer -- All
> 9's are made up
> of two strokes - the c followed by the end ligature...
> The disjointed ones
> might be caused by re-inking - but that would be
> evident if the common
> cause...

We tend to agree on the disjointed characters.  It has also been
suggested that this may also be caused by rough vellum, but
without actually examining the VMS I'm not so sure.

> 	So, it becomes very difficult to truly decide
> whether you have a new
> 'glyph' or just a pause-in-writing that affects 1 in 8
> characters (or you
> have an encoding mechanism based on 8-bits of
> information and one of them
> is damaged).
> 	I think upon very close inspection, you'll see a
> number of the
> standard glyphs have either spacing or angle variations
> that make one wonder
> whether they are still the same glyph... 8's for
> example have some
> interesting
> features. One looks quite vertical, while others are
> leaning drastically to
> the right;
> still others have that annoying open space at the
> bottom - some of which
> extend
> below the line like a 9; There is also an 'i' form of
> the 8 to be dealt
> with, and
> some 8's that look like they consist of a little bowl
> with an 'L' on top.
> John.

The vast majority of variants have very good explanations in my
view.  One scriptual rule accounts for several of them, as an
example.  When a glyph ends a word or is used by itself, it is
often given a "tail".  In our own handwriting, consider an 'm' in
the middle of a word, which would be connected to the next letter,
but when it ends a word we give it a flourish or a tail.  This
also occurs with some of the combination gallows glyphs, when they
are used stand-alone or at the end of words.  The strokes that
make up their final end will often either form an "o" or a "9".

Taking a look at the pages of text in the 100 series, 106r as an
example, one can go for pages without finding a 9 written with a
non-curved stroke, but when the first one does appear, several
others appear on a same page, which makes me suspicious that this
is not a calligraphic artifact.  When I get a chance later on,
I'll be splitting the transcription into quires, to see if some of
these variants cluster on certain quire pages, which observation
tends to suggest at this point.

The <i> form of 8 is part of a series, falling into the rule of
four variant glyphs per set.  The <i> and <e> sets each have four
variants, and the <e> set has four variant endings, one of which
is formed using an 8.  The gallows and gallows combinations also
follow this rule.  The lazy-8's fall into another general rule,
but I'll leave that one for later! :-)

My understanding of the glyphset is that it is a carefully
contrived set of characters, formed under some general rule of
construction yet to be determined.  The variant 9 may or may not
fit some rule, which may have to do with the <a> <e> <o> <9> set,
or may be, as you suggest, merely a calligraphic artifact, though
I'm somewhat torn over this.

I know I've said this before, but I reiterate that I think we're
looking at some sort of coordinate system here.  Given that the
alphabet has its origin in shorthand, and coordinate systems of
notation are a standard feature of shorthand systems, I do not
find this too unlikely.    Systems ranged in coordinate notation
up to 12 points of the compass, so a simple system of four compass
points 50-80 years before the publication of the first coordinate
system is not out of range.  Variations on a coordinate theme were
also covered by Porta in 1568, and I'll have to check but I think
the idea came up even earlier.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-voynich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:owner-voynich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of GC
> Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 2:49 AM
> To: Voynich Ms. mailing list
> Subject: VMs: Qoteedy nine
> One of the glyphs I've been having some problems with is the <y>
> or {9} symbol, and I'd like a little feedback from those who've
> stared at these pages for a long time, if it's not too much
> trouble.
> The standard version of this glyph appears like a scripted "9",
> but on several occasions, not nearly as numerous, I've
> found that
> the downward curve of this glyph is sometimes written straight,
> like a "q" instead of a "9".  This does not always occur at the
> end of words either.  A third variation is a disjointed
> "q", as if
> written as a {c}, a visible space, and a straight
> downward stroke
> added on.
> At first I thought that space might be limited, or some other
> quirk of penmanship was responsible, but in almost all
> cases there
> is more than enough space to complete a curved downward stroke,
> and the pages these appear on are populated with {9} glyphs
> written correctly.
> A sample of text yielded 224 of the variant {9} and a count of
> 1,514 of the standard {9}.  Since I'm attempting to base my
> assumption of a glyph's existence primarily on the
> number of times
> it occurs, this is a significant enough sample that I cannot
> discount it as a possibility.
> If you were lucky enough to download the very detailed
> images put
> up by Jacque Guy (or was it Jorge?) of folio 87v,
> you'll find one
> of these variant {9} glyphs at the end of the first word of line
> five in the "top" image, one at the end of the next-to-last word
> of the second line of the "bottom" image, and one at
> the beginning
> of the fourth word of the fourth line in the "bottom"
> image.  This
> makes three of these variant glyphs on the same page.  Variants
> tend to group, so this is in keeping with a pattern.
> In the interest of encoding as much information about
> the text as
> I can in a transcription, I've given these variants their own
> designation, but I'm wondering if anyone else who has
> transcribed
> at least a part of this mansuscript has questioned these marks,
> and if not, what rationale did you use to record these as a
> variation of penmanship instead of a variant glyph?
> GC