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VMs: fake letters

On the topic "Lookalike encipherment" Nick Pelling wrote:
. . . the issue of whether, if EVA <o> is a fake letter solely used to construct verbose digraphs (like qo, or, ol, etc), two adjacent fake <o>s would elide into a single one - ie, should <qo.ol> contract to <qol>? Fortunately, <qol> only seems to occur in pages where free-standing and word-initial <l>s occur, which suggests that whatever <qo> and <ol> represent, <qo> cannot be followed by <ol>.

Hello Nick,

From what followed, I think you are referring to the issue I brought up. If so I did not say <o> is necessarily fake. I considered the possibility that it is occasionally inferential whether fake elsewhere or not. Not just <o>. Any letter that would be one of a double if written. Writing it or not would not change the meaning. <qol> for a demo was not the best choice but to race a slow horse we do not know a letter (<l> for example) is free-standing in all positions or in any position adjacent another letter or across a space from another letter.

Simialrly, there are related issues with <cho> and <chol> in Voynichese (particularly in Currier A, IIRC): I strongly suspect that <ch> and <cho> are tokens that code for quite separate things, and that <chol> can only decompose into <ch.ol>, never <cho[o]l>:

I think so, too. At the time I thought of inferred letters. I did not consider <cho> or <qok> or even <cth>. It was after a first look at a transcript and seeing (part of) what everyone sees. I, then attempted to sort out the bigrams. Isolating those I thought to be most obvious left quite a few others in between (the most prominent of which I took to be "real" bigrams), many singletons and some longer strings. If I remember right this left (sorry about that) only a few trigrams, four or five 4-grams and maybe one longer string -- and most of the singletons -- and some dubious digrams. Well, they all were dubious but these more so. Anyway, I had about the right number of different elements to fill the used portion of a grid with an alphabet running across the top and at the side. I also made a frequency table for sequences. I knew some of these could be equivalent to, say <er> and <re> in English and that any 18th Century cryptanalyst would have resolved the method if it were used. I knew I would not recognize a non-English script if it jumped out. No, not even a second very simple cipher of English behind the outer cipher. I knew I had gone in without sufficient familiarity with the script (<qok>, etc.). I never had any illusions about "solving" the script. I only wanted to get a better look at it. The repetition of n-grams and the lack of repetition of words and phrases, is a feature that interests me now.

The circumstantial evidence for implied/inferred letters is somewhat less than for the existence of a crenel or a knothole which we can determine by surrounding structure. The possibility that there is one or two or more does not have to lead anywhere; it only needs sit in the wings in the event it might serve a purpose in one scheme or another. If you have proven to your satisfaction they do not exist (tried to think of a substitution for "exist") I doubt there will be any loss.

>ie, that <cho> can > never be followed by <ol> in the underlying language.

We have not read all the possible literature but it would seem so if there is an underlying language.


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