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VMs: Re: Paradigms Regained
Many thanks, Phillip. It's too bad the syllable
theory is wrong; things would be a lot easier.
That seems to leave us with 1) Chinese or another
Far-Eastern monosyllabic language, or 2) an artificial
It seems odd that someone with a good knowledge of
Chinese would write a book with no apparent Oriental
As for 2), the writing is so fluent, it seems
difficult to believe that anyone had such mastery of
the artificial languages we know about, or don't know
about. I wonder whether the VMs comes from an unknown
subculture, that the VMs isn't the only work that this
subculture produced. Could such a group have become
fluent in a language of their invention, a language
that bears little resemblance to European tongues?
I guess I vote for Chinese for the moment.
Philip Neal wrote:
> I think it can be shown very simply that Voynich 'words'
> are not transliterated words or syllables of French, German
> or Latin. Consider what letters can occur initially and
> finally in words of those languages and which ones can be
> initial abcdefghijlmnopqrstuvxz
> final acdefgilmnoprstuxz
> double elmnprst
> initial abdefghijlmnopqrstuvwz
> final bdefghlmnprstuz
> double abeglmnoprst
> initial abcdefghijlmnopqrstuvx
> final abcdeilmnorstux
> double bcdfgilmnprstu
> In all three of these languages, more or less any letter which
> can occur finally in a word can also occur initially and many
> letters commonly occur as double letters. Furthermore, the
> letters which occur as doubles are also common initially.
> In Voynichese, only c and (if it is an independent letter) i
> occur as double letters at all frequently. i is never initial
> and c seldom initial. Furthermore, Voynichese (a)in and (a)iin
> are almost exclusively found in final position and never occur
> There are other patterns in Voynich 'words' which have no
> parallel in these three languages. For instance only a minority
> of Voynich characters ever occur twice in the same word, and
> most characters have a strong preference for a fixed position in
> a word relative to other characters (e.g. where a word contains
> both c and k, the c almost always comes between the k and the
> end of the word).
> French, German and Latin are my strongest foreign languages, but
> I have never noticed the Voynich patterns in languages like
> Italian which I know less well.
> Philip Neal
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