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VMs: RE: Zbigniew Banasik's "Manchu Theory"

	Well... If anyone is interested there's a book on Manchu Grammar available
at the link below -- $170.


	Or this one for $34.


	Or a German-Manchu downloadable file...

	One site gives a little hint of the grammar that should be apparent in ZB's
version if it follows the same Grammatical rules...
	"As mentioned above Manchu is an agglutinative language, and its basic
sentence structure is Subject-Object-Verb (SOV).
Manchu Nouns

Nouns in Manchu have a number of cases which are determined by suffixes:

nominative - used to mark the subject of a sentence, it is marked by no
accusative - used for the direct object of a sentence, it is marked by the
suffix -be.
genitive - used to indicate possession and means by which something is
accomplished, it is marked by the suffix -i or the particle ni if coming
after a word ending in -ng. For instance, wang ni moo (the king's tree).
dative/locative - used to indicate location, time or place, or indirect
object, it is marked by the suffix -de.
ablative - used to indicate the origin of an action or in a comparison, it
is marked by the suffix -ci. "

	Are there any signs of these endings in ZB's work?  The problem with
assigning 'vowels' when needed in a language that is dependant upon the word
endings being suffixed by a particular vowel - then the ending can't just be

	A quick perusal of the f1r transliterations don't show any sign of a 'be'
ending - so no accusative case...
	Okay - Genitive... Lot's of words end in 'i'... ni following an 'ng'
word... hmmm, well he has some ng words - but none followed by 'ni'.
	Dative Case... -de ... I don't see any of those either.

	Okay, so maybe I'm just being difficult (again) - but, Are we to assume the
Grammatical structure of ZB's Manchu is different than the above.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx]On
Behalf Of Jorge Stolfi
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 5:12 PM
To: vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Zbigniew Banasik
Subject: VMs: Zbigniew Banasik's "Manchu Theory"

My feeling is that it is still too early to evaluate Zbigniew
Banasik's "Manchu Theory".

Positive aspects:

  - It is a testable and falsifiable theory, with a specific
    proposed language and a specific proposed alphabet.

  - While it gives the reader some degree of freedom because of
    omitted vowels and variant spelling, the choices seem
    much more limited than in many previous proposals (such as
    those where all vowels are omitted).  (Zbigniew himself makes
    little use of this freedom in his readings.)

  - VMS "word" spaces are identified with Manchu word boundaries.

  - None of the translated words in f1r seems wildly out of place. In
    fact the "omburge"(ZBA) = "medicine" in line 13 is rather encouraging.

  - While Manchu is not a "monosyllabic" language, it appears to have
    short stems with short inflectional suffixes; so its word structure may
    still be a good match to that of Voynichese.

  - The known suffixes of Manchu provide non-trivial constraints
    on the choice of sounds.

  - The EVA letters {"a","o","y"} are read as vowel sounds.

  - The EVA letter "o" is read as the sound "o" (natural for an European).

  - A Manchu origin for the VMS seems historically plausible.

Uncertain aspects:

  - The most common word "daiin"(EVA) is read as "bungge"(ZBA) and
    translated as a future tense of "giving", and "or"(EVA) as
    something related to "be able". I would have expected them to be
    functional words or particles. But perhaps those words are
    indeed very common in Manchu (cf. the English "that", "do", "get",
    "have", "will" -- all with special meanings as well as functional

  - Given that Zbigniew affirms to know only a few hundred Manchu words,
    it is not clear how he arrived at his complete alphabet, which includes
    many EVA glyph combinations that are fairly rare in the VMS.  Perhaps
    some of the letters are only guesses, based on some presumed structure
    of the alphabet and

  - It is not clear how Zbigniew obtained the translations. In
    particular I do not know whether he stretched the meaning of some
    words, or chose only the most "expected" reading among a larger
    set of alternative meanings.

  - Since Zbigniew still hasn't had the time to tell us how
    he arrived at his alphabet, it still seems rather arbitrary.
    For all we know, one could swap or change many of the letter readings,
    and still obtain many Manchu words that would be completely different
    from those shown, and yet as plausible as them.

Negative aspects:

  - Only a few words have been translated, and most of them have vague
    that could fit well in any place or any order.

Irrelevant(?) aspects:

  - Zbigniew apparently thinks that his VMS alphabet was derived
    from some early version of the Manchu alphabet, and gives some
    thoughts about its evolution and chronology.  Assuming
    for the time being that the Manchu theory is true, my view
    is that the VMS alphabet was invented on the spot by an European,
    for the purpose of taking dictation in Manchu; and
    precisely because there was no suitable native alphabet.

All the best,

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