Friday, July 12, 2013

Voynich manuscript contains language after all

Voynich manuscriptThe Voynich manuscript continues to generate buzz, mainly, I think, because in this day and age of supercomputers, it is simply unthinkable to have a codex that cannot be cracked.
Alas, there is. After so much time, all that has been established, is that the Voynich manuscript contains a genuine written language, and is not plain gibberish as many have suggested.

In this article in BBC News, it is stated:
"There is substantial evidence that content-bearing words tend to occur in a clustered pattern, where they are required as part of the specific information being written," he explains.
"Over long spans of texts, words leave a statistical signature about their use. When the topic shifts, other words are needed.
"The semantic networks we obtained clearly show that related words tend to share structure similarities. This also happens to a certain degree in real languages."
Dr Montemurro believes it unlikely that these features were simply "incorporated" into the text to make a hoax more realistic, as most of the required academic knowledge of these structures did not exist at the time the Voynich manuscript was created.
Though he has found a pattern, what the words mean remains a mystery. The very fact that a century of brilliant minds have analysed the work with little progress means some believe a hoax is the only likely explanation.
 Again, the hoax hypothesis, but weakened with every breakthrough.

"After this study, any new support for the hoax hypothesis should address the emergence of this sophisticated structure explicitly. So far, this has not been done.
"There must be a story behind it, which we may never know," Dr Montemurro adds.
The mystery lives on.