Tucker and Talbert and the Voynich Manuscript

By Gordon Rugg

There’s a new paper about the Voynich Manuscript. It’s  been published in HerbalGram, The Journal of the American Herbal Council, by Tucker & Talbert, and it’s been featured in New Scientist. It will probably also be featured by all the usual suspects.

Rather than go through it in detail, I’ll put up this resource, which readers might find useful. It can be easily adapted for other purposes. You get a point for every “no” that goes into a box on the right. I’ve tested it on the Tucker & Talbert paper, which contains some fascinating speculations about extinct Mexican languages that might feature in the Voynich Manuscript.

I hope you’ll find this useful.

voynich bingo3

The Tucker & Talbert paper is available online here:


3 thoughts on “Tucker and Talbert and the Voynich Manuscript

  1. Pingback: Voynich articles overview | hyde and rugg

  2. The authors actually say the paper “was primarily written to propose a new paradigm”, and acknowledge: “because we have been trained as botanists and horticulturists, not linguists, our feeble attempts at a syllabary/alphabet for the language in the Voynich manuscript must be interpreted merely as a key for future researchers, not a fait accompli. Much, much work remains to be done”.

    So it may be a great time for Nahuatl linguists. And Tucker & Talbert transliteration actually turns this gibberish set of uncomprehensible symbols into a text which one can read aloud, if he learnt this new alphabet. More to that, some of the words from manuscript are readily translated even with common modern Nahuatl online translators.

  3. Hi Gordon, just saw your blog! And Mikhail, I’m afraid you are mistaken. As a Nahuatl specialist, I can say that the Nahuatl in the article is largely bogus or heavily manipulated. This is quite unacceptable behavior from scholars. Furthermore, I must contradict the statement that some of the words are “readily translated even with common Nahuatl online translators.” The authors, who are ignorant of basic Nahuatl, invent their own extinct dialect. And they fail to “translate” anything more than a handful of isolated words in a manuscript of 232 pages!

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