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Indus Script Encodes Language, Reveals New Study Of Ancient Symbols
ScienceDaily ^ | April 23, 2009 | University of Washington

Posted on 04/26/2009 9:29:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

A University of Washington computer scientist has led a statistical study of the Indus script, comparing the pattern of symbols to various linguistic scripts and nonlinguistic systems, including DNA and a computer programming language. The results, published online April 23 by the journal Science, found the Indus script's pattern is closer to that of spoken words, supporting the hypothesis that it codes for an as-yet-unknown language... In 2004 a provocative paper titled The Collapse of the Indus-Script Thesis claimed that the short inscriptions have no linguistic content and are merely brief pictograms depicting religious or political symbols. That paper's lead author offered a $10,000 reward to anybody who could produce an Indus artifact with more than 50 symbols... The researchers performed calculations on present-day texts of English; texts of the Sumerian language spoken in Mesopotamia during the time of the Indus civilization; texts in Old Tamil, a Dravidian language originating in southern India that some scholars have hypothesized is related to the Indus script; and ancient Sanskrit, one of the earliest members of the Indo-European language family. In each case the authors calculated the conditional entropy, or randomness, of the symbols' order.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; harappan; harappans; hrishikeshjoglekar; indusvalley; indusvalleyscript; iravathammahadevan; mayankvahia; nishayadav; radhikari; rajeshrao
"Entropic Evidence for Linguistic Structure in the Indus Script"

1 posted on 04/26/2009 9:29:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ..

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Thanks Renfield.
Analysis of the 4500-year-old Indus Script -- Despite a large number of attempts, the script of the Indus civilization (circa 2500-1900 BC) remains undeciphered. The absence of a multilingual "Rosetta stone" as well as our lack of knowledge of the underlying language have stymied decipherment efforts. Rather than attempting to ascribe meaning to the inscriptions, we are applying statistical techniques from the fields of machine learning, information theory, and computational linguistics to first gain an understanding of the sequential structure of the script. The goal is to discover the grammatical rules that govern the sequencing of signs in the script, with the hope that such rules will aid future decipherment efforts.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

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2 posted on 04/26/2009 9:31:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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from the following title:
Parpula's two volumes of photographs covering the collections of India and Pakistan, which appeared in 1987 and 1991... and his 1994 sign list, containing 386 signs (as against Mahadevan's 419 signs), are generally recognized as fine achievements, not least by Mahadevan... This is a significant figure. It is too high for a syllabary like Linear B... and too low for a highly logographic script like Chinese. the nearest comparison... are probably the Hittite hieroglyphs with about 500 signs and Sumerian cuneiform with perhaps 600+ signs... Most scholars therefore agree that the Indus script is likely to be a logosyllabic script like its west Asian contemporaries. [pp 281-284]

These Dravidian speakers are presumably remnants of a once-widespread Dravidian culture submerged by encroaching Indo-Aryans in the 2nd millennium BC... The Indo-Aryan hymns, the Vedas... recount tales of conquest of the forts of the dark-skinned Dasa or Dasyu... the Vedas repeatedly mention the horse in their descriptions of warfare and sacrifice, and this animal was clearly a vital part of Indo-Aryan society... But there is not horse imagery at all in the Indus Valley civilization and virtually no horse remains have been found by archaeologists. Hence the Indus civilizations is unlikely to have been Indo-Aryan. [pp 290-291]
Robinson mentions "a substantial inscription found at Dholavira near the coast of Kutch in 1990, which appears to have been a kind of sign board for the city." [p 295]

Lost Languages: The Enigma Of The Worlds Undeciphered Scripts Lost Languages:
The Enigma Of The World's Undeciphered Scripts

by Andrew Robinson

3 posted on 04/26/2009 9:33:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SunkenCiv

bump for l8r

4 posted on 04/26/2009 9:48:09 PM PDT by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Off Hunting--- for the COLB)
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