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Re: VMs: Four column model/paradigm...
At 22:40 15/11/2003 -0600, Dennis wrote:
Very interesting. It's largely consistent with the
two paradigms I
quoted. I haven't got to look at Stolfi's
crust-core-mantle, but it probably is. Your idea is
really more sophisticated.
All I'm trying to do (however imperfectly) is to peer a little below the
surface of that kind of paradigm. :-)
There still aren't many constituent verbose cipher
elements. I'm not familiar with shorthand systems,
modern, Tironian notae, or in-between. I believe
modern systems contain a fair number of glyphs, say
~300-400. Am I right?
There are four basic shorthand mechanisms:-
(1) symbolic replacement (ie additional symbols for syllables & words)
Downside: too many extra symbols to remember will drive you crazy
* Tironian notae
(2) tachygraphy (single-stroke alphabets, literally "fast writing")
Downside: too many different strokes & they start to overlap
* Greek tachygraphy
(3) systematic abbreviation (either contraction or truncation)
Downside: what is systematic for you is unthinkable for me
* Radcliffe's system
(4) conceptual replacement with hint letters (to help reconstruction)
Downside: what was systematic for Bright was unthinkable for everyone
* Bright's Characterie
Modern shorthands typically cherry-pick the best pieces of (1)-(3), and
shape them into a reasonably coherent system. Given the heterogeneous
nature of the VMs' alphabet, it seems obvious that it too might well have
been constructed by cherry-picking the best pieces from all available
systems - and verbose ciphers were just one such system.
Therefore, the Markov model I'm proposing has *some* verbose cipher pairs
(qo, dy, ee), but I'm now pulling back from the idea that it's *all* pairs.
To my eyes, a lot of the pairification actually seems to arise from the
(apparent) Markov state machine rather than from a verbose cipher... so,
yet again, the truth isn't so much "out there" as "somewhere in the middle
between places we can no longer see". :-o
One could regard the two older Voynichese paradigms as
squares, roughly 20x20. Are you thinking the
underlying shorthand elements are items in such a grid?
(Of course, your system isn't as simple as a grid, but
even with the older paradigms, there are a lot of empty
spaces in the grids. You're trying to eliminate these
No, that's not really it... more, I think there appear to be a number of
distinct "conceptual states" (one might also call them "nodes") within
which symbol choice is (typically) heavily constrained. These may also have
been obscured by (possibly deliberate?) scribal errors, which confuse
code-breakers by conflating *possibility* with *probability*.
Merely looking at (say) H2 stats begs the question - how can we
characterise these nodes, and why are the ranges of symbol choices from
those nodes so heavily constrained?
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling......
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