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Re: VMs: vms sentences

Hi Mark,

At 16:41 04/02/2004 +0000, Mark Lee wrote:
Does anybody have any opinions on sentence breaks in the VMS? (A strong
assumption would be one sentence per line)

AFAICR, there are only a few places in the VMs which appear to have some kind of structure between a line and a paragraph (which I presume is what you're interested in).

For example, f81r (the 'poem' page) seems to be 'ragged right' justified, which might indicate that these are separate lines of a poem or sentences.

The recipe section is mainly filled with 2-3 line short paragraphs, which would seem likely to be a single idea each (hence the identification with recipes - though recipes for what is another matter). :-)

There are also "title" fragments, which are short fragments of (centre-justified or right-justified) text, which you might consider (didn't someone collect all these together onto a web-page?): and there also some "long labels", most notably in the balneological section (IIRC).

Also: you've probably read about the evidence for some line-related structure (certain characters often appear at the end of a line, like EVA <m>). If the VMs is in cipher, then this might be re-using a rare character (like "x") to indicate a hyphen... though opinions differ. It's a reasonable conjecture, so you might consider parsing a line-terminal "-x" as a hyphen... you never know.

Finally: if the VMs is in some kind of artificial language (as a number of people think), then there should be good reason for some kind of structure to emerge from this kind of analysis. However, I'm not even sure that we know what comprises individual letters here - and this runs the risk of blurring many (otherwise soundly based) analyses. It may well be that you get significantly different results for different groupings of the character set (please *don't* use EVA on its own and expect to get sensible results), which might prove very interesting! :-)

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

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