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Re: VMs: Arguments against a code book?

Hi Jorge,

At 14:48 12/07/2004 -0300, Jorge Stolfi wrote:
> (2) a language-like distribution of word frequency

That it does: Voynichese follows Zipf's law fairly close.

IMO, Zipf's various laws are 'correlatory' with language behaviour, but not 'causatory'. Many non-language things have Zipf law behaviours too... etc etc.

  > (3) uniform text structure across the text (unlike the differences
  > between Currier A & B we do see)

I do not see such a big difference; IMHO, Currier got that impression
only because he looked at two parts of the manuscript (Herbal A and B)
which seem to be at opposite ends of what is better described as a

I think Mark Perakh's study of the differences between A & B (he concluded they were based on two different types of abbreviation) is very relevant here. IIRC, GC has also described mixed pages (ie, containing both A paragraphs & B paragraphs), though I don't remember if he said where these were to be found. All in all, the definitive study of A & B (and all stations between) has yet to be done.

Really, I think that any testable codebook hypothesis would need to be based on numbering schemes that take into account both A & B's apparent "structures" (in just the kind of ways you describe). Unfortunately, this is non-trivial. :-(

Overall, the codebook hypothesis is both hard to disprove, and hard to operationalise.

According to the only handwriting expert report we have, the VMS
script it is in one hand throughout. Word frequency plots like those
by Rene and myself here show fairly clear differences in word
frequency between sections, but many of the words do occur throughout
the book -- something that is not usually seen with different
languages, even closely related ones like Spanish and Portuguese.

How about Italian and Latin (for A & B respectively)? These have long seemed to me to be the best candidates, especially if words are typically abbreviated.

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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