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Re: VMs: voynich dice game ... sunday thoughts

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004, Pierre Abbat wrote:

> On Sunday 12 September 2004 10:22, Marzio De Biasi wrote:
> > Is there an alphabet where this assumption is true (i.e. every symbol is
> > mapped to a different char)?
> > Where can I found such transcription?
> > I'll repeat the tests on it as soon as I got it!
> We don't know. The main puzzle is combinations such as "cth" where one
> letter is stuck in the middle of what may be a single other letter. Then
> there's "sh" which looks like "ch" with a diacritic. Most writing
> systems don't put one diacritic on two letters, but most writing systems
> don't put one letter in the middle of another, so we don't know whether
> "ch" is one letter or two.

I think it's a bit more complex than that.  You have to consider the
following possibilities:

- That various i+, e+, ai+, ae+, etc., sequences may not be series of a's,
e's, and i's, but "polygraphs" representing various independent elements,
e.g, i, ii, and iii, etc., may be three different characters, ai, aii,
aiii, etc., three additional characters, and so on.

- That many of the EVA "monographs," specifically r, n, j/z, l, m, and s,
b, d, y, g, may be ligatures connecting i or e (c) with following
"flourishes" or "terminals" (about five) that are logically independent,
so that these "single characters" are actually two-character sequences.

- Some other monograph characters like a and o are open to comparable
interpretations, e.g., a as e + i, and o as e + (maybe the flourish of n
and b?).

- The gallows characters are open to similar interpretations in terms of a
two basic staffs with two distinct flourishes, leading to the four
possibilities observed.

- The "ligature" dash that combines ch (or cz) and sh (or sz) and
sometimes other things might be a "flourish" character, too.

Of course, these are just ideas that have been in circulation.  No one
knows how far to go (or not go) with this process of analysis.  For some
illustrations of the sort of complexities that enter into the "what's a
character" question, see D'Imperio's Figures 18 and 20.  From looking at
Figure 18 in particular I am increasingly inclined to think that o is a
simple character, but that maybe the "ligature" dash is a "flourish." or
something somewhat similar.  A modifier, anyway, of what preceeds.

I think it's safest to think of the EVA scheme as a way of unambiguously
and accurately representing the "graph sequence" of Voynich script without
necessarily doing so in a one to one way.  Some EVA renditions may be one
to many, others many to one.

Naturally this situation leads to some difficulties in terms of computing
statistics on lengths, frequencies, etc., which is, perhaps, as the
creator(s) of the VMs. intended.
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