More about lines and curves

Brian Cham, who in April this year surprised the Voynich community with a razorsharp deduction that none but René Zandbergen is the actual author of the VM (probably nobody was more surprised to hear that than René himself ;-)), is at it again, but this time on a more serious note:

In a long, but well worth the reading blog post, he presents the “Curve-Line System” which he has detected in the VM.*) He has attempted to poke through the undergrowth of the well-known Voynich word grammar rules: In the past, a number of people have tried to explain the obviously regular VM word structure with a bundle of more or less complex rules, and with more or less success. Brian now goes one step further and divides the better part of VM characters based on the shape of their basic stroke, judging whether it’s “curvy” or “linear” (ie straight). Starting from this assumption he arrives at a surprisingly simple set of rules which allow to re-create the better part of the VM corpus.

While the statistics seem sound, though of course always open to attack, the beauty of this discovery lies in the fact that it doesn’t need to arbitrarily divide letters into different classes, but the division is done base on the shape of the letter, ie, it’s “obvious”.

One thing which puzzles me though is that Brian apparently doesn’t discriminate between Currier A and B (except in his test in section 3.7.2). It should come as a surprise to me if the grammar rules would actually hold for both “languages” without modification.

Overall, I think Brian may be well underway to finding a method in which the VM text was created. As yet, he hasn’t suggested how the Curve-Line System may be connected with the encipherment of a plaintext, or with the generation of meaningless pseudo-ciphertext.

*) I only learned about his post these days, but it seems it was already posted late in 2014.