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The original paper proposed a method to investigate the linguistic features embedded in undeciphered symbols. The authors concluded that 'it is likely that the [Pictish] symbols are actually words'. This comment points to linguistic issues which have a bearing on the conclusion but have not been addressed thoroughly enough. The transformation of Pictish carvings into linear symbols and the features of archaic writing systems are likely to introduce biases, which stand unassessed. The proposeddoi:10.1098/rspa.2010.0189 fatcat:yhfjhxllzbfdpcx2ry4ir6kbj4