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Re: VMs: Random Text Generation

Thanks for the feedback, Nick.

Personally, I can't begin to imagine the horror of finding out that the VMS is a set of randomly-generated gibberish, but I'd like to eliminate the possibility. I'm not sure my approach is any good, but I haven't heard of any other method.

Some interesting points in your reply -

The problem is that many features of Voynichese seem to be somewhat at odds with the structure of existing languages - for example, the large number of unique (yet only slightly different) words relative to the size of the text. Why should some words (in the model's word-space) exist and others not?

I can think of one way this could be achieved. I'll use English as an example. The bigraphs ET, AT, ER, AR, ES, AS, EN and AN are, of course, very common. Imagine writing a piece of English where word breaks are determined by the presence of these bigraphs - the result might look like this...

Theproblemisthat man yfeat ures ofvoyniches es eemtobes omewhat at oddswiththes tructureofexistinglan guages forexamplet helar gen umber of uniqueyet onlyslightlydiffer en twordsrelat ivet othes izeofthet ext.

Hmmm, actually that doesn't work well in English, but imagine the same thing in Latin or French. You'd end up with streams of words with very similar endings.

I don't currently know if any of the 15th Century number codes mentioned in the crypto literature (such as that used for the most part by the Strozzi) were ever written in Roman numerals - does anyone here know of any?

I don't know of any, but can think of a reason why they might not have been used. Roman numerals contain inherent patterns; i, ii, iii, iv - these would be very handy clues for a would-be decipherer. The Arabic numerals, however, offer no such points of entry.

Thanks again for your comments,


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