On Thu, 16 May 2019, 22:49 Jörg Rhiemeier, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hallo conlangers!
> On 16/05/19 21:06, And Rosta wrote:
> > On Thu, 16 May 2019, 09:28 [log in to unmask], <
> > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> I personally believe that the Voynich MS is a conlang. Any 15th century
> >> cipher for a natlang could be cracked, and the manuscript has
> statistical
> >> properties that argue against it being gibbrerish.
> >>
> > Has anyone tried to reverse-engineer a Voynich conlang (as a kind of
> > Shannonian exercise)? I gave it about ten minutes' thought a few years
> ago
> > and couldn't see any obvious way to construct a conlang to match its
> > properties. But I imagine someone with more ingenuity or more time must
> > have had a stab. (To be clear, I mean not trying to discover the conlang
> > used by the creator of the document, but rather trying to create a
> conlang
> > that can generate a text that matches the Voynich text.)
> I think that successfully creating a conlang in which the Voynich
> Manuscript constitutes a meaningful text is pretty much equivalent to
> deciphering it, isn't it? After all, it is extremely unlikely that a
> text of that length makes sense in two utterly different languages!

Is that really so, when one of the languages is invented specifically to
fit the text?

(So if you arrive at a
> conlang in which the VM constitutes a meaningful text, you probably have
> guessed both the language and the meaning mostly right.

Can that really be so? Imagine you were faced with, say, a hundred pages of
illustrated Wolof text. Could someone sufficiently ingenious come up with a
grammar and lexicon that generates that orthographic text and has a meaning
appropriate to the illustrations? I'd guess yes. Is it likely that they
would have thereby enabled themself to read Wolof, to have understood the
Wolof text? Surely not. But you must think it would be nigh on impossible
to come up with a grammar and lexicon that generates that text.

It is indeed more likely that it is written in an unknown language - either
> a lost natlang or a conlang. And
> it is perhaps not even encrypted, as the choice of the language alone
> makes it hard enough to crack!

But in that case, what sort of writing system is it? It does not look like
a writing system of any known sort (i.e. alphabet, syllabary, etc.), for
what possible values could the letters (given their distributional
characteristics) have that would yield something like a representation of a
linguistic utterance? Do you not agree that it is in fact very hard to
identify any linguistic characteristics of Voynichese, whereas any
nonencrypted text written in nonlogographic script does reveal many clues
about its linguistic characteristics, such as its morphological structure.