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Re: VMs: Babelfish translation [plus question for Dana]
At 10:02 15/11/2003 +1000, Jacques Guy wrote:
I don't see there anything at all stranger than what you find in many
natural-language phonologies and spelling systems.
I really do not see anything strikingly special about Voynichese.
My post was not about the subtleties of natural languages (on which I
completely defer to you) but about the subtleties of verbose ciphers -
specifically, about how a verbose cipher might be constructed such that a
vowel-like symbol <o> would appear in varied (language-like) contexts, and
not simply as a prefix (or suffix) in glyph-pairs (which would be too
obvious by half).
I suppose my point was that, if the VMs *is* based on a verbose cipher
which uses <o> in these three separate ways (while remaining largely
unambiguous), I believe it would stand beyond the set of Quattrocento
Northern Italian ciphers (well, the ones I know of) in terms of subtlety alone.
However, to qualify that assertion properly, I'd need to re-examine the
Milanese cipher ledgers specifically to see if any ciphers come even close
to it - it would be a fun way for a cryptography historian to spend a week,
for sure, but unfortunately a week which I don't have ATM. :-(
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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