Friday, August 4, 2017

Debosnys Cipher Transcription Revision

My initial transcription of the Debosnys cipher texts allocated one transcription to one glyph, where I have defined a glyph as a cluster of graphemes bounded to the left and right by white space. So, for example, the "signature" line is analyzed as six glyphs:


With the Debosnys material, this yields a text of 1188 instances of 425 glyphs. That means a lot of the text will consist of glyphs that only occur once, which makes contextual analysis difficult. I thought it would be useful to be able to do some analysis on deconstructed glyphs as well. So I created a second transcription that looks at the internal structure of the glyphs:

 <C2 B2> <X DOT> <N U> <O Z O> <O2RNO> <CROSSB>

There is an order to the internal structures of glyphs. For example, using Backus-Naur form, you could describe a whole set of glyphs as follows:

<n-glyph> ::= N <n-tail>
<n-tail> ::= <n-medial> | <n-medial> <n-final>
<n-medial> ::= N | U | X | O
<n-final> ::= X | O

I am currently exploring the idea that these structures correspond to syllable structures, with subglyphs representing letters or phonemes.

The distribution of sub-glyphs follows Zipf's law, with the subglyph O being most common. In French, the most common letter is e, and there is a favorable comparison between the frequency of the O subglyph in the cipher poem and the vowel e in a comparable number of lines of Beaudelaire's poetry.

More on that when I have time.

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