A linguist's comment on 'Pictish symbols revealed as a written language through application of Shannon entropy'

A. Fournet
2010 Proceedings of the Royal Society A  
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 proposed
more » ... sed. The proposed method could be tested against other items. The line between writing and drawing is not as clear-cut as categorized in the original paper. On the whole, the conclusion reached by the authors remains pending.
doi:10.1098/rspa.2010.0189 fatcat:yhfjhxllzbfdpcx2ry4ir6kbj4