Saturday, May 18, 2019

Proposed Solution To Voynich Code Published

Language Log has a nice analysis of the most recent published claim to have solved the great linguistic mystery of the Voynich Code.
"The Language and Writing System of MS408 (Voynich) Explained" In Romance Studies. Published online: 29 Apr 2019 
[VHM: MS 408 is the call number under which the Voynich manuscript is catalogued in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, to which it was donated by Hans P. Kraus in 1969.] 
Manuscript MS408 (Voynich) is unusual in a number of respects: 1. It uses an extinct language. 2. Its alphabet uses a number of unfamiliar symbols alongside more familiar symbols. 3. It includes no dedicated punctuation marks. 4. Some of the letters have symbol variants to indicate punctuation. 5. Some of the symbol variants indicate phonetic accents. 6. All of the letters are in lower case. 7. There are no double consonants. 8. It includes diphthong, triphthongs, quadriphthongs and even quintiphthongs for the abbreviation of phonetic components. 9. It includes some words and abbreviations in Latin. As a result, identifying the language and solving the writing system required some ingenuity and lateral thinking, but both were duly revealed. The writing system is rather more singular and less intuitive than modern systems, which may explain why it failed to become culturally ubiquitous and ultimately became obsolete. On the other hand, a significant vestige of the language has survived into the modern era, because its lexicon has been sequestered into the many modern languages of Mediterranean Europe. Here, the language and writing system are explained, so that other scholars can explore the manuscript for its linguistic and informative content.
Established experts strongly disagree that this proposed solution is accurate:
"Cheshire reCAsT", J. K. Petersen, The Voynich Portal (5/7/19) 
"Cheshire Reprised", J. K. Petersen, The Voynich Portal (5/16/19) 
"No, someone hasn’t cracked the code of the mysterious Voynich manuscript. Medieval scholar: "Sorry, folks, 'proto-Romance language' is not a thing."" Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica (5/15/19)


neo said...

hey i'm glad to see you blog post on voynich.
it's one mystery i'd like to see solved.

is this more for linguists or cryptographers?

neo said...


on the subject of mystery and science

do you know whether environmental DNA on bigfoot foot prints could establish via DNA the existence of bigfoot?

so the first question is whether enviromental dna on a bigfoot print can establish a genetic profile

and is this by itself enough to prove bigfoot exists, provided it shows genome of a non-human unknown primate?