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Re: VMs: Robert Firth on Arabic

it is a fantastic language, and it has a wonderful grammar, you should enjoy the way of word construction in arabic...
And only an araber can spell "aburil".

Vladimir Sazonov

Knox Mix wrote:

Hello Vladimir,

And thanks. Somehow a paperback book, Arabic in a Nutshell, survived two purges of books from my library in the past decade. I cannot distinguish a jiggle from a squiggle without a magnifying glass and the pages come unglued when I turn them. I will print your message and clip it to the book. The introduction will be about as far as I go with the book. VMS is left to right and top to bottom. A Semetic Leonardo? Maybe just as likely a European along the land and sea interface. All depending on whether this is the right track.

Ciao ...... Knox

vladimir@xxxxxxxx wrote:

Arabic is not so simple as Robert Firth supposes.

(1) Blanks between word and between letters inside a word are not very clear.
Some letters need a small blank after them.
(2) Vowels can be written and can be omitted
(3) Points above and below consonants are very sufficient. If they are omitted,
the text is still readable but poor recognisable.
For example, B,T,N,I share the same letter with different points above and below.
(4) the end of the previous word makes change of the beginning of the next word

For example, BISMILLAH-IRRAHMAN-URRAHIM, is actually a composition of the following parts:

So, here is a lot of ways to encript of arabic text
1.ignoring vocals / not ignoring vocals - it is a common to omit the vocals
2.using acustical consonant change at word connection / not using this consonant
3. ignoring the punctuation difference between consonants / not ignoring such
4. Ignoring/not ignoring the formal suffix "-UN" at all the subjects, that is
not prononsed
5. Using different rules to set blanks between words and particles
6. Encipher left-to-the-write or right-to-the-left

These 6 points are enough to make it a difficult recognising of the cipher
structure for arabic.

What are the arguments for arabics?
(1) In some marginal cases of enciphering, the Entropy becomes low.
(2) the letters have different initial and final form, dependent on a blank
before and after it
(3) practically each "legal" combination of letters (see a Stolfi's grammar)
becomes a legal word
(4) the blanks have not very striong meaning, the statistical distribution of the 2-letter combinations is very similar
to the distribution of 2-letter combinations of letters before and after the blank.

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