2010年12月23日

繰り返しの単語から解読の可能性を探る3

1999/1/18, posted by Jorge Stolfi

> [Takeshi:] Isn't it difficult that we assume plants and human
> have common properties?
>
> e.g.
> zod f70v2.S2.13 ACKV =otaldy=
> pha f101v2.R1.2 AHV =otaldy=
>
> By the way, I thought one person represent one day in the zodiac
> calendars. But it is not true, right? (I mean, there are 30
> women in each zodiac calendars. But some women have the same
> label.)

Well, have you seen my "Chinese theory" page? Perhaps the correct
reading of <otaldy> (as the VMS author intended it) is <chang>, but
one of those <otaldy>s is <chàng> and the other is <cháng>...

> What do their labels mean in the zodiac calendars? What do you
> think kind of property they have? Their name? their birthday?
> where they live? They have a same kind of star? who and who are
> relatives by blood and marriage? etc.

I have no satisfactory theory for what the "zodiac" diagrams and the
numphs are supposed to be. If they indeed represent the zodiac signs,
why do they all have 30 "stars"? Why are Aries and Taurus split in
two?

Even the zodiac symbols at the center are a bit suspect; it is
possible (although, I admit, unlikely) that the central circles were
originally empty, and the signs were added later, by someone who just
guessed they were related to the zodiac. Or perhaps the guess was made
by the VMS author himself, as he copied the diagrams from some other
book.

If the nymphs are real or imaginary individuals (not just decoration),
then the labels are likely to be their names; in which case it is not
that strange to see repetitions.

> occurrence count
> ---------------------
> okaly H 4 (A 5)
> okoly 2
> otal dar 2
> okam 2
> okaldy 2
> okeoly 2
> okalar 2
> oteolar 2
> okeey ary 2
> otaly 2
> okal 2
> otaraldy 2

I hadn't noticed that there were so many repetitions in the Zodiac.
Very strange! Why is no label repeated three times? Is there any
pattern to these repetitions (such as position of labels in
diagram, etc?)

> Is it possible to think that <okal> or <otal> itself have a
> meanings and +<y> or +<dy>?

I wish I knew the answer....

If the language is Chinese, this is somewhat unlikely (although the
<y> or <dy> could be tone marks, and I believe that in Chinese
there are some rules that say that tone X changes to tone Y when
it comes before a word with tone Z.)

On the other hand, if the language is Chinese then those resemblances
are not surprising, and they do not mean anything: "ching" and "chi"
are not related...
posted by ぶらたん at 23:28| Comment(0) | その他

繰り返しの単語から解読の可能性を探る2

1999/1/15, posted by Jorge Stolfi

繰り返しは植物の特性などで、名前ではない。

Besides <otoldy> we can look at the similar words <otaldy>, <opaldy>,
<ytaldy>, <ytoldy>, etc., which could be alternative spellings of the
same word.

I count 9 occurrences of those words as labels, and 17 as words in the text.

Here are those occurrences, extracted from the concordance I posted
recently. I have split them into labels and text, then sorted by
section and page. (I have kept only the "majority" version ("A")
of each occurrence. There were only a few dissenting votes, usually
by the FSG/SSG transcriptions.)

Labels:

sec location trans occurrence
--- ------------ ------ ----------------------------------------------------
cos f67r1.S.1 ACHV =otaldy=
zod f70v2.S2.13 ACKV =otaldy=
bio f82v.L3.14 AHV =otoldy=
pha f88r.m.1 AHLV =otaldy=
pha f89r1.t.4 AHKLV =otoldy=
pha f89r2.L2.0 AHUV =otoldy=
pha f99r.L1.12 AHU =otoldy=
pha f99v.L1.1 AHUV =otoldy=
pha f101v2.R1.2 AHV =otaldy=

Text:

sec location trans occurrence
--- ------------ ------ ----------------------------------------------------
bio f78v.P.26 ACFHV shedy sol fchedy otaldy/lol *ar shr r ol
bio f79r.P.28 AFHV dai*n yteey chyteey otoldy lchey/lcheey qochey
bio f79v.P.1 AFHV olk*ry qotolol otaldy otedol or olorol/
hea f22r.P.11 ACFH yckhody qokchy oky otoldy yty dol or-dachy
hea f28r.P.7 AFH shockhy shocthy otoldy-dshor dol dar/oschotshl
hea f2r.P.6 ACFH daind-dkol sor-ytoldy-dchol dchy cthy/
hea f44v.P.1 ACFH shol tol qotshol otoldy/yolkol cheol qokchain
hea f52r.P.2 AH dar yty/oty shor ytoldy qoky koldal oteees
hea f52r.P.3 ACFH tchody qotam oky-ytoldy/lshopchy qoky qotchy
hea f53v.P.13 ACH -*dam/ycthodaiin otoldy=
hea f9v.P.9 ACFHU tor chyty dary-ytoldy/oty kchol chol
heb f43v.P.1 ACFGU r araiin otedy opoldy/shedy octhy otedy
heb f48r.P.1 AFH ykeeody olaiin opaldy/daiin yteeol choody
heb f48v.P.9 ACFGH loldy lol-otchdy otoldy ytam otedy/tol
heb f95v1.P.4 AFH qokal oty shekshey otaldy okshey ytshedy
pha f89r2.P3.8 AFHLU che* oldy sheodal ytoldy/daiin cheok o keol
str f58r.P.30 AFH chody cheol okolchy otaldy/odshchol taiin

Note that almost all occurrences of <otoldy> and friends *as labels*
are in the pharma section, and almost all occurrences *as text* are in
the herbal section. Of these, 8 are in herbal-A (all <otoldy> or
<ytoldy>), 4 in herbal-B (one each of <otoldy>, <opoldy> <otaldy>,
<opaldy>; so these may be bogus).

Note also that <ytoldy> tends to occur right after gaps in the text
due to intruding plants (marked by "-" above). I take this fact as
evidence that <y> is (always? often? sometimes?) a calligraphic
variant of <o>, used at end-of-word and sometimes at
beginning-of-line.

There is one occurrence of <ytoldy> in the *text* of pharma page f89r2.
Coincidentally that is the only page with *two* occurrences of
<otoldy> as a label.

Moreover, there is some evidence that <k> and <t>, while distinct, were
interchangeable to some extent. Indeed the distribution of <okoldy>
and its variants is somewhat similar to that of <otoldy>:

Labels:

sec location trans occurrence
--- ------------ ------ ----------------------------------------------------
cos f68r1.S.14 AHUV =okoldy=
zod f72r2.S2.5 AHV =okaldy=
zod f72v3.S1.18 AHUV =okaldy=
bio f82r.L2.5 AUV =okaldy=
bio f82v.L3.14 U =okoldy=
pha f88r.b.3 AHKV =ofaldo=
pha f89r2.L2.0 L =okoldy=

Text:

sec location trans occurrence
--- ------------ ------ ----------------------------------------------------
hea f18r.P.8 AFH qokchor ckhol olody okaldy-dary/chol chcthal
hea f36r.P.7 ACH -dan/qotol cthol okol dy okchy-ytorory-sold/
hea f3v.P.4 ACH **s eey kcheol okal do r chear een/y**ear
hea f54v.P.9 ACH qockhey qodal ytam okal dy/kol c*kaiin chckhy
heb f33r.P.2 ACFH ytchedy qokar cheky okaldy qokaldy otor oldar
heb f40r.P.4 ACFH okaiin okar oky okoldy ol/lokar qokar
heb f43r.P.2 ACFGHU chety dar aiir okaldy daral otchdy daiin
heb f43v.P.2 ACFHU ches***y okeody oky okaldy kchdy okar/tody
cos f57v.R1.1 AHU daram qokar okal okal d o l shkeal dydchs
bio f75r.P.27 ACFHV qoty pshar shedy okaldy-dar otar otedy
bio f75r.P.44 ACFHV okedy qokedy otedy okoldy otar otam olaiin
bio f82v.P.12 ACFHV qokchey qokain okal dy lchedam/orain shedy
pha f88r.P3.11 AHL lkeey cthol poldy s-okoldy/qokol chol qokol
pha f89v1.P1.12 AHL kaiin ykchol qockhy okalda otal dal chodar
pha f99r.P2.7 AFH cheody qokol okoly okoldy qokoly qokal okchol
pha f99v.P1.2 AFH qokchol qokeol okoldy-q*kholdy t*ly daiin/
str f105v.P.3 AFHT okair qotol dol okoldy qokedy opched oteedy
str f113v.P.48 AGH qokeeedy lkaiin okal dy/yshey teeo oteedy
str f58v.P1.10 AHU qokal* qokaiin okal okaldy ory/tchol shol
str f58v.P2.27 AHU okey okal o*aly okaldy okeor sheey=

Note that there are three <okoldy>s in the *text* of the pharma pages,
all of them on pages where <otoldy> occurs as a label (f88r, f99r,
f99v) --- one more bit of evidence for a close relationship between
<k> and <t>. (Grammatical inflection, perhaps?)

> Is it evidence that the manuscript itself is meaningless?

On the contrary, I think that the highly skewed distributions of
<otoldy> and <okoldy> confirm (once more) that the VMS is *not*
random text.

> I don't think these four plants are the same. Why do different
> plants have same name? ... After someone succeeds in identifying
> what language or code is in the Voynich MS, can we explain these
> repetitions? I don't think so...

The labels may indicate properties of the plants, not their names. The
properties could be the plant's usage (e.g. "poison", "tonic",
"emetic", "diuretic", "too strong", "doesn't work"), its
smell/flavor/color/size, which parts of the plant are used, how it is
repared ("infusion", "poultice", etc), the season for picking, the
place or date of the finding, the country where it grows, the dealer
who sells the plant, the sympathetic star, the name of the daemon who
summoned by consuming the plant, etc. etc.

Someone suggested that the labels may be meaningless tags, used
just as we would use (a), (b), (c) or (1), (2), (3), etc.

Or perhaps (ahem!...) those <okoldy>s were distinct but
similar-sounding words in an unfamiliar language, and the author was
unable to hear the difference.

In any case, I am almost convinced that the drawings in the pharma
section are "field notes", where the author recorded plants as he
"found" them; and the herbal and bio pages are later elaborations on
those notes. The pattern of <otoldy> occurrences above seems at least
compatible with this theory.

The main evidence for this theory is the fact that some pharma
drawings are repeated in the herbal pages --- enlarged and done with
more care, sometimes with fancy flowers, but in the same pose and with
the same details (i.e. definitely a copy of the same drawing, not just
an independent drawing of the same plant.)

Note that the pharma plants may have been "found" in a pharmacist's
shop, in a library, in the teachings of a master/guru/shaman/explorer,
in conversations with natives, etc.. However, since many pharma plants
are unlabeled, or bear repetitive labels, I think it is slightly more
likely that they were found in the wild by the author, and he did not
know their names (except for a few plants, eg. the maidenhair fern.)

Since we are on the subject: I think that the "containers" in the
pharma pages were added after the whole section was complete, as an
afterthought. Note that they are all squeezed in the margin (except in
one instance where the container lies between two plants).

The containers could represent plant categories, of course; but
perhaps they are (also?) "thumb marks" for quick page finding...

In any case, it seems that the plants in the pharma section seem to
have been sorted by some criterion; not only by inference from the
presence of the containers, but also from looking at the drawings
themselves. So they probably aren't the primary field sketches, but
clean-copies made sometime later at the "office".

However the relative realism of the pharma drawings says to me that
they were made by someone who had seen the plants --- which cannot be
said of the herbal drawings. In fact I would bet that the herbal
drawings were done by assistants or hired illustrators.
posted by ぶらたん at 22:59| Comment(0) | その他

繰り返しの単語から解読の可能性を探る

1998/11/25, posted by Jorge Stolfi

--- okal (VERY COMMON) -------------------------------------------

A very common word in the VMS. It could mean "Sun", or perhaps "Moon". (Or "water"; the planet Mercury is literally "Water-Star" in Chinese... 8-)

--- opchol dy (RARE) ---------------------------------------------

The words "opchol dy" or "opcholdy" do not seem to occur elsewhere, but there are half a dozen near misses:

"otshol dy" occurs in Herbal-A text (f7v).

"qokchol dy" ditto (f18r).

"okchaldy" ditto (f23v).

"opchaldy" ditto (f45r).

"okchol do" ditto (f52r).

"ofsholdy" is a Zodiac star label (Cancer, f72r3).

"ypcholdy" is a Pharma plant label (f102v1).

"yteeoldy" mentioned in Pharma text (f101r1).

--- ytoaiin (RARE) -----------------------------------------------

My concordance finds no exact recurrences, but does find half a dozen near missses:

"ykoaiin" in the text under the same diagram (f67r2, line 1), and in an early herbal-A page (f3v, line 1).

"qokoaiin" in the text under the same diagram (f67r2, line 3), and part of a label in the Cosmo diagram overleaf (f67v2).

"otoaiin" in text around a "Sun face" on a nearby page (f68r2), and in an early herbal-A page (f1v, line 5).

"okoaiin" in a Pharma text (f89v1, line 10).

"opyaiin" in a herbal-A page (f23r, line 1).

--- dolchsody (VERY RARE) ------------------------------------------------

Occurs just once more (split and without the "s" plume), on page f66r, line 19:

...daiin daiin dal DOL CHEODY dairaly dairal...

--- okain am (VERY RARE?) ------------------------------------------------

Occurs once more (with the "q" prefix), on f111v, line 9:

...okeey qokeey qokey qOKAIN AM- soiin shed qoksheo...

But "am", like most words ending with "m", is almost surely an abbreviation (note its occurrence at end-of-line). The word "okain" alone is extremely common.

--- yfain (VERY RARE? VERY COMMON?) -------------------------------------

The word "yfain" itself does not seem to occur elsewhere. On the other hand some `equivalent' words like "okain", "ykain", "otain", "ytain" etc. are exceedingly common.

--- ofar oeoldan (VERY RARE) --------------------------------------------

The word "ofar" is very common, but "oeoldan" does not seem to occur elsewhere, not even in disguise ("ysoldon", "araldan", etc.).

(BTW, the whole phrase "ofar oeoldan" did not make it into the index because of a bug in my code, in the handling of comma-spaces. One more thing to fix for the next release...)

--- doaro (VERY RARE) ---------------------------------------------------

The concorance shows no other occurences of this word or its `equivalents' ("dyary", "doary", "daosy", etc.).
posted by ぶらたん at 20:57| Comment(0) | その他
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