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Re: VMs: An idea

Hi Jeff,

At 00:52 25/01/2004 +0000, Jeff wrote:
If abbreviation is involved as NIck Pelling believes then we are lost anyway
and have to think of a more specific attack method. Also in nulls or even
codebook numbers are involved then the whole method assumes another level of
complexity altogether.

*sigh* - I'll say it again. There's specific evidence (in the layout of some pages) that suggests that the VMs is an encoded copy of an existing document: plus there's evidence (in the alphabet itself) that at least part of its cipher system involves a verbose cipher (qo, dy, ol, or, etc). So, if the effective average length of letter-representations is longer, but the lines are probably the same length, there's good reason to suspect abbreviation (truncation or contraction).

Mark Perakh's analysis of the differences between the A and B languages also suggests that abbreviation is likely to be an important factor in the VMs (though for quite different reasons).

However, we also have a fairly good (though I'll admit it could be improved) idea of what abbreviated Italian text looked like circa 1450, so we're far from "lost".

Also: if anyone can definitively prove that numbers of any sort (whether codebook indices or otherwise, whether Teague numbers, Tiltman Roman numerals, etc) are involved, then I'd say we're definitely "found". But AFA I'm concerned, that's not ~quite~ true just yet. :-o

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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