“A type of cloth” - the Supersyllabogram PU in Mycenaean Linear B & its Implications for the Eventual Decipherment of Minoan Linear A: Click to ENLARGE This is probably the last supersyllabogram for cloth, and the last one we will be dealing with before we move onto providing the meanings of all 31 SSYs in context sometime in December 2014. That will be the final step before we publish our official PDF research article sometime in the winter or spring of 2015. In the meantime, reviewing the principle of the supersyllabogram, it is defined as the first syllabogram, in other words, the first syllable of the Mycenaean Linear B word which it represents, with the caveat that SSYs vary in meaning depending on the context in which they appear. By context we mean the area of the Minoan/ Mycenaean economy or society which the tablet is dealing with. Thus, the SSY PU would have a different meaning in agriculture than it does in the economic sector for textiles. Within each context, however, each supersyllabogram always has one invariable meaning. In the context of textiles, the SSY PU means “a type of cloth”, and is the first syllable of the Mycenaean word pukatariya. Unfortunately, this word had already disappeared from Greek even in the archaic period, when Homer wrote the Iliad (ca. 900-700 BCE). So we have no way of knowing whether in fact pukatariya was a Greek, Minoan or even an altogether foreign word. My suspicion is that it is Minoan, and that raises the question whether several other Mycenaean words for which there is not even an archaic Greek equivalent might also be Minoan. If any are – even just a few of them – then that might provide a clue to at least a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A. It would be an easy task if we were able to find either the exact or an approximate equivalent of any of these purported “Minoan words” in John G. Younger’s exhaustive lexicon of Minoan Linear A: but I suspect that we would have no such luck, as the old saying goes. The confirmation of even a single one of these words in Younger’s lexicon would be a welcome little shot in the arm for the eventual decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Of course, if we cannot find any of the words on extant Linear B tablets for which there is no Greek equivalent, archaic or classical, then we are simply out of luck. I shall eventually get around to doing precisely that, culling all of the Mycenaean words from extant Linear B tablets. for which there is no Greek equivalent, in order to compare them with Younger’s lexicon, unless John G. Younger beats me to the punch. I strongly suspect he already has. Finally, since the Mycenaean orthography is pukatariya, we cannot be sure if the Mycenaean Greek pronunciation was putakataria, fugataria or possibly even futhataria. Richard
4 thoughts on ““A type of cloth” – the Supersyllabogram PU in Mycenaean Linear B & its Implications for the Eventual Decipherment of Minoan Linear A”
O.K. I am taking note Richard. Thank you
Of what, pray tell… ha ha!
PS I will be up for a while still, even though I have been up ALL night! I imagine it is your lunch time right now in Crete, given that it is 12:30 p.m. chez vous.
Just my own post. Richard
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