The Linguistics of the Voynich Manuscript

@inproceedings{Bowern2021TheLO,
  title={The Linguistics of the Voynich Manuscript},
  author={Claire Bowern and Luke Lindemann},
  year={2021}
}
The Voynich Manuscript is a fifteenth-century illustrated cipher manuscript. In this overview of recent approaches to the Voynich Manuscript, we summarize and evaluate current work on the language ... 
Review of The linguistics of the Voynich manuscript by Claire Bowern and Luke Lindemann
Abstract We address severe deficiencies of a recent publication by Claire L. Bowern and Luke Lindemann on the linguistics of the Voynich Manuscript [Annual Review of Linguistics 2021 (7): 285-308].
Character Entropy in Modern and Historical Texts: Comparison Metrics for an Undeciphered Manuscript
TLDR
It is shown that substantial manipulations of glyph composition are not sufficient to align conditional entropy levels with natural languages, and it is demonstrated that the unusually predictable nature of the Voynichese script is not attributable to a particular script or transcription system, underlying language, or substitution cipher.
Topic Modeling in the Voynich Manuscript
TLDR
It is found that computationally derived clusters match closely to a conjunction of scribe and subject matter (as per the illustrations), providing further evidence that the Voynich Manuscript contains meaningful text.

References

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What We Know About The Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich Manuscript is an undeciphered document from medieval Europe. We present current knowledge about the manuscript's text through a series of questions about its linguistic properties.
On the Voynich manuscript
TLDR
The intriguing, multilateral statistical matches render the investigated sections of these two documents into the same linguistic universality class, suggesting that most likely the Voynich manuscript carries no rationally comprehensible content, offering also a plausible explanation why the ciphertext was unbreakable so far.
Statistical Properties of Two Folios of the Voynich Manuscript
  • J. Guy
  • Linguistics
    Cryptologia
  • 1991
TLDR
The text of folios 79v and 80r of the Voynich manuscript, transliterated, is submitted to a quantitative analysis and tentative phonetic categorization of letters into vowels and consonants using Sukhotin's algorithm is proposed.
AN ELEGANT HOAX? A POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT
  • G. Rugg
  • Computer Science
    Cryptologia
  • 2004
TLDR
How sixteenth century cryptographic techniques can be adapted to generate text similar to that in the Voynich manuscript is described, which concludes that the hoax hypothesis is now a plausible explanation for the VoyNich manuscript.
A proposed partial decoding of the Voynich script
TLDR
The aim of the paper is to attempt to lay the groundwork for an eventual full decoding and complete decipherment of this fascinating document, by proposed partial decoding of the Voynich script.
A possible generating algorithm of the Voynich manuscript
TLDR
The results support the so-called “hoax hypothesis,” i.e., interpretation of the text as a set of meaningless strings, and present a concrete text-generator algorithm (the “self-citation” process), easily executable without additional tools even by a medieval scribe.
EVIDENCE OF LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE IN THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT USING SPECTRAL ANALYSIS
TLDR
The spectral analysis of the text without spaces suggests that the Voynich manuscript shares similar properties with natural languages and is not a random collection of characters.
Hoaxing statistical features of the Voynich Manuscript
TLDR
The main unusual qualitative and quantitative features of the Voynich Manuscript are explicable as products of a low-technology hoax, with no need to invoke an undiscovered new type of code and/or the presence of meaningful text in the manuscript.
Origin and Provenance of the Voynich Codex
The bizarre Voynich Codex, discovered in 1912 in Italy by the Polish book dealer Wilfrid Voynich (1865–1930), consists of illustrations and text in a symbolic language. Although encyclopedic in
Keywords and Co-Occurrence Patterns in the Voynich Manuscript: An Information-Theoretic Analysis
TLDR
It is shown that the Voynich manuscript presents a complex organization in the distribution of words that is compatible with those found in real language sequences and gives support to the presence of a genuine message inside the book.
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