The Voynich Manuscript

Harris Proposition

Theory:

The Voynich script is a short hand or code.

The letters appear to me to be based on a progression or intentional evolution (e.g., Cherokee’s borrowing of English letters and numbers vs. Morse Code which has a purposeful “rhythm” to its design). It either serves as a textual substitute or as a basis for a cipher. The redundancy of identical markers and occasionally, depending on the page, the author(s) favored repetition of identical strings supports a substitution script.

From the development of the letters, they are clearly based on one another and have consistent place values (beginnings, middles and ends). Another advantage of my theory for is the avoidance on the dependence on creatures from Atlantis or ancient alien theories. I think a substitutionary text theory is the simplest and most rational of choices.

Disclaimer:

  1. I have no theory which appeals to me on what language or mathematical representation this text might have, nor do I see any basis for it being an exotic language.
  2. The placement of the plants has no uniformity relating to the text that I’ve been able to identify.
  3. There are a number of “words” in the VM which appear to be intentionally blotted and even corrected to meet the implicit “rules” the author(s) created and may, rarely, deviate from my “rules” below.

I am now using Mike Roe’s Character (MRC) chart at http://voynichology.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/alphabet-table.png. However, I have not been able to find MRC 21 at the end of “words” in the actual Voynich manuscript. Roe's chart is simpler than others that I've seen, easier to follow and demonstrates, in my opinion, an excellent attempt to place characters in a logical fashion. Kudos to the developer.1)

Observations:

A. It is a progressive script. The base unit for the majority of “letters” is MRC number 10.

  1. MRC 10 or the “c” character never appears as a single unit. It's always bundled with co, cg, c-c.
  2. MRC 3 or the “c\” character appears to be an “a” but is a c-slash, a single downward stroke to the right (3). It is a combination of (10) and (15).
  3. o: Mirror c, the second stroke is now curved significantly (2).
  4. 9: By extending the second curved line down past the baseline (22).
  5. 8: All “cP” use the same arch and bottom right end points (9).
  6. [rev] S: There does seem to be a distinction between a “c” with an upward swoosh resembling an uppercase reverse “S” and the “?” character. Reverse S doesn’t appear at the end of words. There is one with a long tail (12).
  7. c-c: Double c (8).
  8. dc: Double c, yet with the upward hook added (9).
  9. clpc: Double c, offset with the lP character (5, 8).
  10. c4Pc: Double c, offset with the 4P character (½, 8).

B. MRC 3 is a combination of 10 and 15.

  • A possible progression in the development of these characters: c\ (3), c\? (15, 3), c\\? (16, 3) and c\\\? (16, 15, 3). Additionally, MRC 19 may be a suffix form of 18 and 21.

C. MRC 1 only appears at the beginning of a word and only with MRC 2 (“o”) suffix.

D. 4o, a combination of MRC ½, may appear as the first character, but may occur in the same word as lP, 4P or c4Pc (4, 5, 6, 7).

E. MRC 4, 5, 6, and 7 (lP, 4P, c4Pc) do not appear twice in the same word, but MRC 9 (“dc”) may. These three also do not appear at the end of a word. MRC 1/2 does appear to change to MRC 4 (the “4P” character) as if lifted from the baseline to the midpoint of the text line.

  • Possible progressions: c-c dc clPc c4Pc.
  • Another possible progression is 18, 5, 4, 16/20.

F. MRC 17 (“x”) only appears with MRC 2 (“o”), but in rare cases with MRC 3 (“a”). May appear by itself.

G. Endings. “Words” only end with an up or down swoosh and may be based on only some of the “c” progressives as if MRC 21 becomes 14 at the end of a word.


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History

1)
I also use the reference chart numbers with an alpha script interchangeably to aid in seeing how a handwritten Voynich font can be reproduced in typewritten text.

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