Ancient language mystery deepens

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PostThu Aug 12, 2010 5:33 am » by whitedeath


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A linguistic mystery has arisen surrounding symbol-inscribed stones in Scotland that predate the formation of the country itself.

The stones are believed to have been carved by members of an ancient people known as the Picts, who thrived in what is now Scotland from the 4th to the 9th Centuries.
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These symbols, researchers say, are probably "words" rather than images.


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But their conclusions have raised criticism from some linguists.

The research team, led by Professor Rob Lee from Exeter University in the UK, examined symbols on more than 200 carved stones.

They used a mathematical method to quantify patterns contained within the symbols, in an effort to find out if they conveyed meaning.

Professor Lee described the basis of this method.

"If I told you the first letter of a word in English was 'Q' and asked you to predict the next letter, you would probably say 'U' and you would probably be right," he explained.

"But if I told you the first letter was 'T' you would probably take many more guesses to get it right - that's a measure of uncertainty."

Using the symbols, or characters, from the stones, Prof Lee and his colleagues measured this feature of so-called "character to character uncertainty".

They concluded that the Pictish carvings were "symbolic markings that communicated information" - that these were words rather than pictures.
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“Start Quote

It's like finding a menu for a restaurant [written in English], and that being your sole repository of the English language”

End Quote Professor Rob Lee Exeter University

* The Kingdom of the Picts

Prof Lee first published these conclusions in April of this year. But a recent article by French linguist Arnaud Fournet opened up the mystery once again.

Mr Fournet said that, by examining Pictish carvings as if they were "linear symbols", and by applying the rules of written language to them, the scientists could have produced biased results.

He told BBC News: "It looks like their method is transforming two-dimensional glyphs into a one-dimensional string of symbols.

"The carvings must have some kind of purpose - some kind of meanings, but... it's very difficult to determine if their conclusion is contained in the raw data or if it's an artefact of their method."

Mr Fournet also suggested that the researchers' methods should be tested and verified for other ancient symbols.

"The line between writing and drawing is not as clear cut as categorised in the paper," Mr Fournet wrote in his article. "On the whole the conclusion remains pending."

But Prof Lee says that his most recent analysis of the symbols, which has yet to be published, has reinforced his original conclusions.

He also stressed he did not claim that the carvings were a full and detailed record of the Pictish language.

"The symbols themselves are a very constrained vocabulary," he said. "But that doesn't mean that Pictish had such a constrained vocabulary."

He said the carvings might convey the same sort of meaning as a list, perhaps of significant names, which would explain the limited number of words used.

"It's like finding a menu for a restaurant [written in English], and that being your sole repository of the English language."

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PostThu Aug 12, 2010 5:39 am » by Elohimscience


And all this means?

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PostThu Aug 12, 2010 6:35 am » by Otomon


elohimscience wrote:And all this means?


Ancient people had different traditions and different languages... go figure....

Now if they had something awesome to talk about...like I dont know... SELENA GOMEZ!!! then it would be worth investigating... its all a bunch of mumbo jumbo for now..never even heard of the Picts.
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PostThu Aug 12, 2010 11:49 pm » by Vulcanic


otomon wrote:
elohimscience wrote:And all this means?


Ancient people had different traditions and different languages... go figure....

Now if they had something awesome to talk about...like I dont know... SELENA GOMEZ!!! then it would be worth investigating... its all a bunch of mumbo jumbo for now..never even heard of the Picts.



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PostFri Aug 13, 2010 12:13 am » by Aardvaaks


Picts, Scots, Angles, Jutes, Saxons and Celts, ancient Britons, interesting stuff... :flop:
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PostFri Aug 13, 2010 12:31 am » by Vulcanic


I loved the new King Arthur movie the Picts helped him fight the Saxons and the leader of the Picts was Merlin and Guinevere was a Pict .Whats cool was Merlins only power was knowledge!! no magic but to the Saxons they might of thought it was magic lol ..... gives you something think about lol



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PostFri Aug 13, 2010 12:39 am » by Vulcanic


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PostFri Aug 13, 2010 12:44 am » by Vulcanic


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PostFri Aug 13, 2010 11:01 am » by whitedeath


Sorry for abandoning this after posting, I passed this article on to the site with only the basic understanding of scottish history so didn't feel I could put a personal opinion with it.
Thanks vulcanic for keeping it going and adding the videos!

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PostFri Aug 13, 2010 2:20 pm » by Mediasorcerer


elohimscience wrote:And all this means?


it means the stereo type view that the romans brought "civilisation" to the british isles is a lie,the romans were the least civilised in many ways,crucifixations?arena slave blood sport,gladiators?adultery and poison in ruling classes,nero?etc etc,
the original inhabitants maybe didnt have so many stone buildings or structured war machines/apparatus,but there actual culture was more "civilised",but history books focus on and glorify the romans because they were the most war like,

the picts used to paint themselves blue from head to foot before going into battle,using woad,[a plant]

everybody is so focused on middle east culture and ancient history[ie jesus/bible]and in the process,we have been led to believe our own cultural heritage is not as important,thus we have been deliberately disconnected from our roots!!!
no wonder we are fukked!!!no continuity,led to believe all things pagan are evil,bad,when the opposite is true,then weve had this middle eastern cult [jesus/christian]shoved down our throats,
doesnt anyone see this as a scam???????
i like jesus and the bible,i like some of his teachings,
but why should i abandon my own heritage for this m/eastern shit???
god is god,ancestors are ancestors,and im not a traitor to mine,how about you???
if you study history and religions for long enuf,you will discover almost ALL RACES ARE MONOTHEISTIC!!!!
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