Quote:Anton, can I ask what you mean by "the point that the whole principle behind the Voynichese alphabet is the principle of superposition"?
What is meant is that a composite glyph's meaning (in other words, the object "behind" a composite glyph, something that the glyph is meant to designate) is a linear combination, or "superposition" of "meanings" of basic shapes that the complex glyph is comprised of.
For example, if the "meaning" of
a is Z, while "meanings" of
e and
i are X and Y, respectively, then Z might be X+Y (since
a =
e +
i).
In its basic form, the principle has been used in a medieval monastic cipher (described in the book by D. Kahn), where complex graphic patterns comprised of basic lines meant numbers equal to the sum of the numbers designated by the basic lines.
Another basic example is the Roman numbering system: if I = 1, and M = 1000, then MMI = 1000+1000+1 = 2001. Or, XC = 90, which is a linear combination still, because 90 = (-1)*10 + 1*100.