Similarities between [e] and [i]

Although not a subscriber to Cham’s Curve-Line System, in which he proposes that the strokes which look like [e] and [i] are fundamental to the Voynich script and text, there is an underlying nature of those strokes which is unexplained.

Consider some basic points, true for both the [e] and [i] glyphs:

  1. They can freely occur in sequences of two or more. Other glyphs are rarely doubled and never tripled.
  2. They rarely occur at either the start or end of words.
  3. Many other glyphs seem to be composed of [e] or [i] with another stroke added.
  4. They rarely occur before glyphs containing each other. So [e] is unlikely to come before a glyph containing [i] and [i] is unlikely to come before a glyph containing [e].
  5. They appear in the same word less than might be expected.

Yet, of course, they appear in totally different “slots” in words. Apart from a handful of places where they both occur (ostly after [o]) and a number of places where neither occurs, they’re almost in complementary distribution. I would be interested in discovering if any common words contrast [e] or [i], or whether they’re quite predictable on context alone.


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