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Re: VMs: An Experiment in Retranscribing the Voynich Manuscript (long)

On Wed, 1 Sep 2004, Gabriel Landini wrote:
> Could you provide a table/list of correspondences between eva and the new
> character?

Here's the relevant set of substitutions from my Tcl code.

# Repartition (to reduce ligatures)

# i and e series using John Grove's assessment of equivalences between
# them

set RPT(s) er
set RPT(r) ir
set RPT(b) en
set RPT(n) in
set RPT(d) ej
set RPT(j) ij
set RPT(y) el
set RPT(l) il
set RPT(g) em
set RPT(m) im
set RPT(z) im

# o

set RPT(o) en

# a

set RPT(a) a

# Bench characters

set RPT(c) e
set RPT(h) h

# Gallows, my analysis based on extending Grove's hypotheses on the
# terminals

set RPT(k) kj   ;# Assume kt second graph is j
set RPT(t) tj
set RPT(f) km   ;# Assume fp second graph is m
set RPT(p) tm

# No change

set RPT(i) i
set RPT(e) e
set RPT(x) x
set RPT(q) q
set RPT(v) v

set RPT(\*) "\*"


Simplified tally of instances of suggested syllable initial or consonantal
entities, including null consonant.  Just totals for each character across
all word positions and all following elements.  Recall that the
definitions of characters like i, e, j, l, m, n, r, t, and k is rather
different from the standard EVA definition.

         a     90
        ae    195
       aee      5
      aeee      3
        ai   7349
       aii   2426
      aiii   4010
     aiiii    114
        ak     39
        at     19
        ax      1
         e  64028
        ee   9341
       eee   4060
      eeee    366
     eeeee     12
         i  11125
        ii     61
       iii    246
      iiii     43
     iiiii      2
         k  11359
         q   5414
         t   8522
         v      5
         x     30
     Total 128866

Totals for for syllable final or vocalic entities.  Again simplified, and
running across all syllable initials.

     null    9438
        h   10984
       hh       3
        j   28826
       jh    1866
      jhh      56
     jhhh       1
        l   28089
       lh       2
        m    3029
       mh     283
      mhh      24
        n   31475
       nh      10
        r   10287
       rh    4492
      rhh       1
    Total  128866

Of possible interest in respect of Latin letter frequencies, which, of
course, may or may not be relevant, is this post to Humanist by Jim

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 06:52:31 +0100
From: "Jim Marchand" <marchand@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: 14.0263 letter frequency in Latin?

The question as to the frequency of letters in Latin is interesting and
confronts us with a number of basic problems.  These may seem trivial, but
I can assure you they are not.  First: What is a language and how can we
delimit it?  Language is one of those words like _is_ which we glibly use,
but scarcely ever define.  Secondly, what is Latin?  Just looking at
Olmsted's Index to Language 26-30 (LSA 1955):  ... [many regional and
historical, etc. varieties]

Letters themselves offer numerous problems.  How about diphthongs, often
spelled, e.g. ae, as ligatures. The standard lists are in what we nowadays
would call ASCII (restricted), so that German contains no umlauts, French
no accents, etc.  And what is the purpose of the list?  There was at one
time a great movement to discover the frequency of sounds in various
languages, and George Zipf collected these in search of support for his
law of least effort, etc.  In fact, a glib answer to the question might
be: Look at G. K. Zipf, he must list them somewhere. (for example: G. K.
Zipf and F. M. Rogers, "Phonemes and variphones in four present-day
Romance languages and classical Latin from the viewpoint of Dynamic
Philology," Archives Nerlanddaises de Phontique Exprimentale 15 (1939),

One might, for example, take any large corpus and count the letters (many
`concordance' programs [e.g. TACT, available for ca. $50 from the Modern
Language Association] will do this for you). Or, one might take one of the
concordances (or several of the concordances available), some of which
list as lagniappe the letter frequencies of the corpus they are working
with.  This is not very `scientific', but will work well for sloppy work;
after all, we all know that the sequence of the frequency of English
letters is etaoinshrdlump, as Pogo assures us and Vanna White demonstrates
each weekday night.

My own count of Latin, made by running a text (the Five Books of
Moses, j and i, v and u distinguished; ligatures expanded) of the
Vugate through TACT, looks like this: e a i o t n l r s c m d p u
v b g h f q z j x.  I have, naturally, left out y and k.

The question may not have an answer.

In the Humanist archives is a thread on etaoin shrdlu, which you
could retrieve by searching shrdlu.

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