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of a writing system, the restoration of comprehension of an unknown writing system or language (or both). Thus, when texts from ancient Cyprus were being deciphered, the writing system was unknown. In the case of Hittite, Elamite, and Etruscan texts, the language was unknown. For Egyptian and Luwian hieroglyphics, Akkadian and Ugaritic cuneiform writing, and the “seals” of the Indus valley, neither the writing system nor the language was known. The degree to which the writing or language is known can, however, vary greatly—from complete knowledge to the recognition that the given writing system belongs to a known group of writing systems (or the given language belongs to a known family of languages).

In the deciphering process, the nature of the writing system (whether phonetic, consonantal, syllabic, or word-syllabic; whether or not there are explanatory marks that do not have phonetic values) is ascertained. A calculation of the number of different signs in the writing system in question is sufficient for this purpose. In identifying the individual written signs by simple methods, the decipherer is able to separate in an as yet unread phonetic text the vowels from the consonants and in a syllabic text, the signs for vowels from signs of the type “consonant + vowel.”

The grammar and semantics of a text can be studied independent of the analysis of the writing system. By comparing the repeating segments of a text, it is possible to separate roots from affixes and endings and nouns from verbs and to distinguish individual case and verb forms, prepositions, proper names, and so forth. Such an analysis “from within” is based on the knowledge of the regularities inherent in all languages (or writing systems) or in related groups. However, as a result of the limitation of texts, such an analysis rarely results in the identification of specific forms. To obtain a complete decipherment, use is made of different, strictly “external,” data, primarily bilingual texts—that is, parallel texts in a known and unknown language. If kinship between the language (writing system) in question and known languages (writing systems) is established, then the latter are used for determining or explaining the meaning of the words (written signs) of the text being deciphered. Such analysis is called etymological. Confirmation by new findings can serve as a criterion for the correctness of the decipherment.


References in periodicals archive ?
National research centers, universities, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that identify drug targets use DeCypher to speed genomic analyses.
TimeLogic's Hidden-Markov-Model Search residing on a TimeLogic DeCypher Dell platform.
The product designs incorporate both the Micronas DeCypher DHM 8100 High-Definition Multi-format Decoder and Planetweb's SpectraWorks user interface platform and applications.
Daniel Naimey, VP of Sales for TimeLogic, commented, "JPO has depended upon TimeLogic's bioinformatics technology since they first implemented DeCypher in February of 1999.
DIAS originally implemented DeCypher in 2001, and it has efficiently addressed our large bioinformatics computing demands," commented Dr.
We thank Jim for his vision in creating DeCypher and for helping build TimeLogic into a dominant player within life science computing," commented Rick MacDonald, TimeLogic President and COO.
The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary has selected TimeLogic's DeCypher system running on the Sun platform to supply critical bioinformatics capability to their Sun Center of Excellence for Visual Genomics.
TimeLogic's DeCypher solution, running on Sun systems, delivers the powerful bioinformatics analysis capabilities that allow us to visualize pathways of cellular metabolism," he added.
Its revolutionary DeCypher product compresses the computing power of a large-scale server farm into a single Sun Microsystems or Dell server through the use of reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology.
DeCypher will allow LMB scientists to carry out new types of investigations which would be impossible without considerable computing power, including Hidden Markov Model analyses related to the Superfamily database (http://supfam.
Louis) popular HMMER software, to an 8 CPU Sun Fire 6800 server containing the DeCypher XD-4G FPGA reconfigurable computing processor array on the Sun Fire's PCI bus.
TimeLogic's DeCypher Technology Ported to the Sun Platform