Keywords and Co-Occurrence Patterns in the Voynich Manuscript: An Information-Theoretic Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Authors:
  • Marcelo A. Montemurro
  • Damián H. Zanette

Abstract

The Voynich manuscript has remained so far as a mystery for linguists and cryptologists. While the text written on medieval parchment -using an unknown script system- shows basic statistical patterns that bear resemblance to those from real languages, there are features that suggested to some researches that the manuscript was a forgery intended as a hoax. Here we analyse the long-range structure of the manuscript using methods from information theory. We show that the Voynich manuscript presents a complex organization in the distribution of words that is compatible with those found in real language sequences. We are also able to extract some of the most significant semantic word-networks in the text. These results together with some previously known statistical features of the Voynich manuscript, give support to the presence of a genuine message inside the book. © 2013 Montemurro, Zanette.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere66344
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013