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Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - don of tallahassee - 21-01-2016


RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - Anton - 21-01-2016

I tested the method on Voynich "stars" (f68r1 and f68r2), and not all non-unique stars (let alone unique ones) seem to deconstruct successfully.

E.g.: ytchody or chodar.

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - don of tallahassee - 21-01-2016

Dear Anton,

Are you using the stripped down Voynich Lite version of my proposed solution for your work? It does not have all the tentative codes in the code tables. It was only created/distilled from the larger version to show how easy the entire solution actually is to work with and to get consistent answers only for those 505 words. (Voynich Lite is only meant to be an easily understood tool shaped from the much larger and slightly more complex panoply of codes and tables and meanings,  created for the single purpose of deconstructing the 505 words.)

Or are you using the larger, slightly more complex version shown at:

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This expanded version may help answer your questions. It is, of course, used with the Tables I through VI (also at my Fumblydiddles site) showing the proposed codes and their tentative meanings.

Using the expanded (regular) version, not the Voynich Lite, I would deconstruct your two examples as follows:

ytchody  -  ytch/o/d/y
Table         I   III V VI

The Table I abbreviation  ytch (sounded h-t-s) has heretofore not been identified. I think it may stand for hurts, a synonym for bilberry. The Table III code stands for root. The Table V code stands for 2. The Table VI code stands for grain.

The word may mean hurts (bilberry), root, 2 grains.

chodar   -  cho/da/r
Table         I    IV V

The Table I abbreviaton cho (sounded s-r) is probably either cinnamon root (my old ID) or snakeroot (bistort)(a newer tentative ID). The Table IV code stands for alcohol maceration. The Table V code stands for five.

Thus, the word may mean either cinnamon root or snakeroot, 5 (minims) of the alcohol maceration. Minims is the default type of liquid measurement when no other is given.

I do not yet have all the different codes in Table I identified (especially for the seldom used codes). Most of the members of the other tables have been identified and given tentative meanings. The numbers table (Table V) is the one I am least sure of the members being correctly given meanings/quantities. The Table I IDs are also subject to change as more is learned. The tables need to be updated but should give a general idea of my findings.

I don't know if this answered your questions or gave satisfactory examples of deconstructing the two words you mentioned. I hope it did. If not, please let me know your concerns. I will happily try to deconstruct any other words you may want done.

Thank you.

Don of Tallahassee

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - Anton - 21-01-2016

Hi Don,

I used the "Lite" version as appended to your post above. I haven't time yet to read the full version, but if I am not mistaken, the main point that you put forward is that vords (*) can be decomposed into elementary sequences belonging to several pre-defined groups, and a given group may be presented only once in a given vord.

I'll explain why I turned to Voynich stars (no matter what they actually mean, let's call them "stars" for brevity). These two sets of labels (f68r1 and f68r2) are notable from the perspective that they provide two complete (sub?)-sets of objects, and those objects, whatever they mean and whether they are nouns, adverbs or otherwise, - they are homogenous. The latter means that if (for example!) otol is "bread", then otor cannot be "chair". Or, if ytchody is "breathe", then cphocthy cannot be "blue". (Hope I've made it clear).

So I believe that this set is most valuable to test any morphology hypothesis (such as yours): insofar the objects of the set are homogenous, one would expect coherent results from applying the hypothesis to this set.

I tested your hypothesis on some stars and did not receive coherent results - at least some stars won't decompose. But, as you suggest, I've been not following the full set of the rules that you propose.

If you agree with my considerations above (and, btw, I would be interested to know from other readers as well what do they think of the "star set" as of "morphology testbox" - is this a reasonable idea?) and if you don't mind spending some extra effort, I would suggest the following check:

a) whether all Voynich stars can be consistently decomposed according to your set of rules, to begin with;

b) if the above point a) is OK, then do we observe any systematic morphology pattern in the decomposition results? Like, e.g., all star vords include Group X or something like that. Of course, we need to exclude trivial results from here (like, if I'm not mistaken, any vord should include Group I by definition, so that's trivial).

For convenience, all star names, split by two sets ("dayside" f68r1 and "nightside" f68r2),  transcribed in EVA, are found  in my You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. (The list on S.Bax's website has some evident transcription errors).


* I've been somewhat aggressively using the term "vord" as a shorthand for "Voynichese word", so that's not a spelling mistake Smile .

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - Emma May Smith - 21-01-2016

Many of the strings of glyphs in different groups seem similar but for one small difference. So you strings containing [k] and [t] which are the same except for that letter. Given that [k] and [t] are so similar and can be thought of as a class of character (gallows), why not simplify your process even more by merging those groups of strings and replacing [k] and [t] with a generic G for a gallows character?

Likewise, which list strings beginning [o] and [q] separately? Surely it would be much easier to say that any string beginning [o] can optionally take a [q], which is roughly true?

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - don of tallahassee - 21-01-2016

E and F in the Latin alphabet are similar letters - do you think of them as the same thing or interchangeable for some reason?

How about C and G and O?

They are similar in shape, but they are different letters. The glyphs are the same way. Each one has its own sound and identity.

Nobody gets to trade/substitute one for another for some unknown reason.

Thank you.

Don of Tallahassee

You don't think my deconstructing the 505 most common words is enough?

You don't mention the two words you mentioned earlier that I deconstructed for you.

You want to set another challenge?


Attached is a list of words from my attempt at transcribing the VMS into EVA and glyph characters at the same time, showing abnormalities in green.  Are these the words you want deconstructed? Do you also want my proposed meanings for the deconstructed code groups? Do you want me to show the code groups in red and other such niceties?

Sorry, I couldn't add an attachment from the quick message format - here it is (star labels).

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - VViews - 22-01-2016

Hello Don of Tallahassee,

This is really impressive!
Admittedly I have no training or skills in any field that might allow me to make useful commentary about your method. I am just a passionate viewer of all things Voynich.

I would however like to understand the implications of what you have presented: Are you saying that the whole manuscript is just a string of highly abbreviated recipes, with no actual sentences, or context to tie them together?
I would have thought that there would be at least something like a description of the illness that the remedies are for perhaps, or how many times a day one should take them, precautions/counter-indications for use, etc. For example, on your website it appears that folios 1v-10r deal with astringents. Shouldn't words like "colic", "diarrhea" or something similar appear among the frequent words?

I also expected that at least the text of You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. to be more of some sort of introduction to the rest... Is it? Or does the author just launch straight into 5 grams of this and 8 drachms of that etc?

I'd be really interested to see how your translations render f1r. I couldn't find that folio on your site. Does You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. contain any of these most frequent words?

I apologize if I misunderstand/misread all or part of your work, and look forward to reading more of your research!

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - don of tallahassee - 22-01-2016

Dear VViews,

Sorry, I don't have folio 1r done.

I have no training in this either. Before I retired, I was a carpenter/handyman. I just love puzzles - always have.

I don't much care for what the manuscript seems to be saying or understand fully why there only seem to be ingredients, maybe grouped into apothecary-type formulas. All I can do is try to piece things together from the hints in the Voynich Manuscript (and probably putting some pieces together wrongly). But I am trying to uncover enough of the rules about how the words are put together to enable the next person who comes along with ideas to proceed from that point, rather than having to do all this grunt work before getting started.

Where are the animal and mineral ingredients so prevalent in other formularies of the time? Where are the prayers? Where are the astrological implications? Where are all the other things that would seem necessary in an herbal? Why would such a book be made (and use such an innovative group of ways to try to keep its secrets secure)? Who? Where? Can it answer the questions of others about its idiosyncrasies and secrets?

I've got as many questions for myself and the manuscript as any of you others. And I probably have just about as many answers to those questions as any of you others (because I didn't write the book).

One of the other people I have been corresponding with about my ideas has posited that the system of codes and tables and sequence of deconstruction might be used for something else and is leading a group to investigate the possibility. I've offered to assist in any way they need me to do. Maybe they'll come up with something that makes more sense - or at least something that helps make more sense of this proposed solution.

I don't claim to have all the answers, only a way to deconstruct the words into component parts that seems to work for most of the words in the manuscript, way over 90%. I don't know why there are exceptions. As a general rule, I don't even understand the exceptions. As with everything about the VMS, there's a lot I don't understand.

I just try to take each problem one little step at a time. If I can't come up with an answer or if there is a barrier to my understanding, I put it aside for the time being and get on with the other problems.

I've built a really shaky house-of-cards proposed solution from very iffy base points. I admit it.

But, basically, it seems to hold together under closer examination. There is still a lot of the manuscript that I have not examined closely (as I have the attempted decoding pages). So it may have surprises yet in store for me.

The manuscript continues to vex me at every turn. That's one of the best parts - it is a mystery that keeps on mystifying, like a good Sherlock Holmes story, right to the end, I guess.

One thing you need to remember about my site is that much of the info on it is in need of being updated (look at the dates on some of the items). Table I has had many changes made since its last update. There is a new sound for Table VII - the EVA = ll glyphs, now a long o sound, as at the end of mallow, willow and sallow. I am as unsure as ever about the proposed IDs for the numbers in Table V, especially the EVA = d identification of 2. It may be 1 or 10 or some other number entirely - no way to check yet. The same goes for EVA = e, not presently found in Table V. If I added it, it would take care of the two words out of the 505 that presently don't fit the proposed way to deconstruct words - but I won't add it yet, just to make things neat - unless, and until, I'm more sure. The rest of the Tables are mostly up to date, except for a few seldom-used codes. I know it will take a week and a half to do it right, a month and a half or two months (or more) if I redo all the decoding attempts. And I'm lazy.

There shouldn't be many changes that need to be made to my site that will change anything except code attributions, such as a new herb code or a new name for a code earlier attributed to another herb.

All code IDs are tentative - let me know if you think of a better one or one that fits the pages better.

This week, today, right now, I would say the Voynich Manuscript was written in about 1421 by a native English speaker/writer (maybe having been to York at one time) with training in apothecary/medicine who had read Roger Bacon's ideas on keeping secrets. If the same person was also the artist, the person probably traveled at some time to the Continent (at least to northern France) and had the opportunity to visit the King of France's library and maybe a few other highly placed individuals' or other prominent libraries or medical books, also.

That opinion may change by noon (still an hour away), if new evidence pops up. If I had to hazard a guess, I would think the person was the King of England's doctor or master apothecary or one of the main doctors or apothecaries in England who needed/wanted to keep his master book of fomulae and potions secret. I know there were strict laws in France at the time about who prescribed and who prepared medicine (only doctors and master apothecaries could change a prescription's ingredients for any reason) - not sure about England.

All I was trying to do with Voynich Lite is show that most of the 505 most common words in the VMS can be deconstructed using a single, rather simple, method and sequence. I did the Voynich Lite stuff because I thought it was easy to understand and gave surprisingly consistent results for a large group of words that couldn't reasonably be considered 'cherry-picked'. And I knew that Voynich researchers would ask for proof - 503 (or even just the original 467 before adjustments) out of 505 is pretty good proof in my world.

I hope I haven't rambled too long.

Thank you.

Don of Tallahassee

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - VViews - 22-01-2016

Thanks for replying!
I think it's great that you've done this, whether or not your deconstruction/translation is the right one I don't know, but I think it really does seem to tick a lot of boxes.
If you ever do get around to writing about 1r I'd love to read that. To me there is something really different about that page, with its big red "weirdos" and some other strange stuff going on too, like the absence of that character that looks like a 4 and seems to appear pretty much everywhere else (or is that just due to what they call language A or B?); but these are just impressions and I have only questions... like you said the Voynich truly is "a mystery that keeps on mystifying"!

RE: Deconstruction of Voynich Manuscript words - Emma May Smith - 22-01-2016

(21-01-2016, 11:40 PM)don of tallahassee Wrote: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.E and F in the Latin alphabet are similar letters - do you think of them as the same thing or interchangeable for some reason?

How about C and G and O?

They are similar in shape, but they are different letters. The glyphs are the same way. Each one has its own sound and identity.

Nobody gets to trade/substitute one for another for some unknown reason.

Thank you.

Don of Tallahassee

Hi Don, I think that it would be perfectly acceptable, in the Roman script used for English, to consider words containing say, a voiceless consonant such as p/t/k to have some fundamental relationship with those containing similar voiced consonants such as b/d/g. They are not the same sounds, but they behave in very similar ways. Words like "puck" and "bug" are related in their structures, as are "blade" and "plate". To make separate rules to describe how each of these six sounds works would be redundant when they are so alike.
The same goes for Voynich words, where [t] and [k] are similar, or where words beginning [qo] don't seem vastly different from [o]. Generalizing may well miss some detail, but it may also reveal a fundamental link.