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Re: VMs: Babelfish translation [plus question for Dana]

Hi Jacques,

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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