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Re: VMs: Re: Comparison Pages

> I have just constructed two pages comparing the transcription, the EVA
> 1 and a jpg of the actual line, line by line for the first two pages of
the Ms.

Glen Claston did exactly this. He posted jpegs of photographs of each line of the early pages of the manuscript with his own transcription of the writing in a scheme which identified individual penstrokes. That was late last year. I promised to go over it around Christmas and indeed I reached about page 10.

The result? I noticed five or six places where I thought he had
simply transcribed the penstrokes wrongly. GC's main claim was that
there were combinations of penstrokes which could not be transcribed
in EVA because the EVA scheme does not allow for them - for example
a gallows character (EVA t k p f) combined with (EVA e, ee) and
then further combined with the downstroke of (EVA y). This does
indeed occur, but very seldom: again in the tens of times in the
portion of the manuscript which GC transcribed.

> You can view it at www.a-rt.com/~rfarneth/index.html.

Five folios now. Looks good, but now f1r gives a 'not found' error,
and the first few of the jpeg lines in f1v didn't load.

> I am doing it for my own study of the Ms, but I'd like opinions as to
> whether or not it would be a worthwile project, if only for us newbies to
> learn to read it.

I think that the things which GC noticed are significant, but 'newbies' will only see the exceptions if they first see the rule: that a transcription of the original text in any format is more redundant / repetitive / entropic than any text in any natural language in any orthography.

So, if you are going to transcribe or edit some portions of the
manuscript, do us all a favour. Don't go over the herbal section
again; tackle some other clearly distinct part of the manuscript
and as you do it ask yourself questions such as:

Are there really two 'languages', Currier A and Currier B? Or three
or four or more or only one?

If so, is any one of them a simple encipherment of a natural language?

If not, are there real differences between the apparent rules for
writing penstrokes as the rules apply from the first page to the

If the text isn't a simple encipherment of a natural language, why
does it look language-like at all? Look at any page and ask yourself
how you get from a phoneme, word, sentence, utterance in a
natural language to a 'word', line, paragraph of the page you are
looking at.

Transcribers get little thanks, but those who don't do it for
themselves ought not to criticise any particular transcription

Philip Neal

Surf together with new Shared Browsing http://join.msn.com/?page=features/browse&pgmarket=en-gb&XAPID=74&DI=1059

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