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VMs: More questions.
If statistics alone could decipher scripts there'd be no undeciphered
scripts left, but there are dozens that I'm aware of. Every decipherment
of "natural" unknown scripts I'm aware of were deciphered due to
bilinguals/bi scriptuals and/or significant "cribs". And, practically
all decipherments turned out to be known (or the close relatives) of
known languages. I can not off hand think of any decipherment of an
unknown script that resulted in the discovery of a linguistic isolate
(Yes, Etruscan is an isolate, and the semantics remain unlocked, but the
script is transparent).
So my first question (as a raw ignorant beginner) is what exactly is the
purpose of statistical analysis, once the "standard" cryptographic stats
(such as frequency analysis) have failed?
The other thing is that my very limited experience of "secret alphabets"
and "ciphers" is that they encipher not a spoken language but a
language's *written* form. What if the voynich author(s) made the
conceptual leap of enciphering a language's *phonemes* (rather than its
standard alphabet's values and spellings) and then added to that
contractions, abbreviations, truncations etc and then "spelling out"
things like punctuation coma run hyphen ins coma & nulls question mark
So here my question is has anyone considered the above notion(s) before
and if so how did they get on with it?
In any case enciphering phonemes rather than letters would radically
alter a language's visual appearance, and its unique statistics would no
longer be valid (EG "e" may be the most common letter in english but the
most common phoneme is /t/).
The question is has anyone ever produced even something as simple as
frequency tables for the various suspected VMS languages' phonemes?
And now my final question <sighs of relief all round ;-)>. There are
apparently diacritics (accent marks) used in the voynich script. Do the
transcription systems reflect these or are they ignored?
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