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VMs: Repeats and Blitherings
----- Original Message -----
> did anybody speculate why the VM contains no commas nor full-stops? After
all the dot as an ending of the sentence was commonly used in the 14th
century Europe ( written little bit higher than today) and was already
followed by a capital letter. As for comma, I am not sure, in some cases it
looks like the dot was also used in that sense. Instead of sentences - in
strict sense of the word - there are only "paragraphs" in the VM.
> Two reasons come to my mind:
> a) the author did not need full-stops for clarity - he just skipped to
> b) in cipher text, we do not need them either - they would be a clear
Yep I did.
It is quite possible that the word repetitions serve an orthographic rather
than lexical purpose; separating clauses, ending sentences, acting as
parenthesis etc. Or it is also possible that the word repetitions represent
grammatical indicators - freeing the scribe from the spelling variations of
declinations and so forth; which would be another giveaway
But then, those ideas grow out my own unproven notion that Voynichese may
not be encrypted at all but is written in a unique writing system; which
would make it indecipherable by purely cryptographic means.
Sorry I've been away folks. Life seems to have been a long series of
disasters recently; expensive, time-consuming (or both) or traumatic and
disruptive (the most serious of these was my son catching a *very* serious
chest infection - he's on the mend now, thank God - *everything* took a back
seat until *that* was sorted. I even had to abandon what looked like a
promising line of inquiry about Hamptonese.
There's a lot to catch up on in the VMS world now ;-) and I've *only* got
just over a 1000 VMS mails to go (working backwards from most to least
recent) and less free time than I used to have :-(
For now all I'll say is It's gratifying to see that the SIDs are making
clear to everyone the things I reported that I saw in the High Quality
4-colour repo that show the flaws in EVA; evidence that many characters
might contain more than a single piece of information; and rather
disappointing that the hoary old "humanist hand" (I thought Maurizio and I
had put that one well to bed) and the very flimsy "notae" notion
occasionally cited as a fact <shrug>.
(I'll post more on these topics later when I've time)
One point I will bring up now is a quote from Prof Evelyn Edson; After she
states that the vast majority of medieval mss are lost to us, she goes on to
"Do we even know that those [medieval mss] which we possess now are whole?
Another is that very old manuscripts have been rebound, even reorganized, at
least once in their lifetimes, and their pages may no longer appear in the
original order. In addition they have sometimes been pillaged of their
pages, particularly the illustrated ones....."
I read the above before I came to the VMS. So I expected the VMS to have
missing pages and to have been rebound more than once as a feature of an
authentic medieval mss (and possibly an attribute a skilled hoaxer would
include too). Therefore it is quite possible that the quire marks were added
by whomever first dismantled the VMS for rebinding as an aid to
reconstruction (and getting it wrong as frequently happens when the book is
in a language one doesn't understand), and the page numbering added by
another person again, possibly much later (as such numbering wasn't even
thought of until the 16th C!).
In consequence, if the VMS is a hoax, the hoaxer was *very* familiar with
medieval mss to be able to include these attributes that even many experts
may not have thought of, and if it is genuine (which I believe it is) these
attributes are indicative of a long history of passing through many hands
over the centuries. Thus while quire and page numbering anomalies are
interesting, and may give us some insight into the vms's age and provenance,
they probably can tell us nothing of the author or the origin of the vms.
That's my opinion anyway, for what it's worth.
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