I’ll keep this short because I don’t really like speculation. But this is too good to let pass. And besides, I’ve taken a New Year’s Resolution to share more of the thinking and research I do on the Voynich, even if it’s a bit outlandish.
Okay, the word [lkl] is special. When I’ve sorted out words into syllables there are some which can’t be classified because they have nothing which passes for a syllable nucleus. Most are single characters, the rest are two character combinations (all the common ones either contain [ch, sh] or [l]).
The exception is [lkl]. It is the longest word without vowels with five or more tokens. It occurs nine times, which marks it a perfectly valid word and not a possible error. It also doesn’t look—unlike many ‘unattached’ characters—as though we’ve misread a space. Only 15 tokens even include this sequence of characters, meaning that the word [lkl] accounts for the majority of them, and that it is not normal for the Voynich language.
So, what can it be? My speculation is that it’s a set word, or more likely an abbreviation. It is a string of three characters with a reading which is not wholly linguistic. The reader would be expected to know what the characters stood for rather than to read them. Thus there are no vowels, and our main clue is that it must begin and end with the same consonant.
If I can really go out on a limb and be wild with my guess, I wonder if [lkl] could be a way of rendering the Latin abbreviation SCS: sanctus. This would mean that the other six tokens containing [lkl] would be something like attempts to use the abbreviation with different cases or number.
A few incidences of [lkl] are followed by words which could be saint names. Most interesting is the one at the bottom of f107r. The following three words all contain one–leg gallows which are anomalous away from the first line of a paragraph. The complete phrase is: [lkl lfchal pchdy pal]. If [lkl] is SCS, then the second word also begins and ends with /s/!
I’ll leave the guessing game there. I’m almost certainly wrong, but it’s a curious thought.