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Mysterious Voynich manuscript has `genuine message`

Last Updated: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 12:12

London: The world`s most mysterious medieval manuscript Voynich`s message, which has puzzled cryptographers, mathematicians and linguists for over a century, could hold a genuine message, a new study has claimed.

Marcelo Montemurro, a theoretical physicist from the University of Manchester, UK, who spent many years analysing its linguistic patterns and said that he believes that meaningful words could be there within the text.

Montemurro told BBC News that the text is unique and is not easy to dismiss it as simple nonsensical gibberish, as it displayed a significant linguistic structure.

Montemurro and his colleague used a computerised statistical method to examine the text and focused on how words were arranged in order to find meaningful content-bearing words.

He said that there is substantial proof that content-bearing words tend to occur in a clustered pattern, where they are required as part of the specific info being written, asserting that over long texts, words tend to leave a statistical signature about their use.

Montemurro said that the semantic networks that they obtained showed that related words share structure similarities, which happens to a certain extent in real languages.

He believes it is 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.

The manuscript has been dated to the early 1400s, but disappeared from public record until 1912 until an antique book dealer, Wilfrid Voynich, bought it with a number of second-hand books in Italy.

The findings have been published in the journal Plos One.


First Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 12:11

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