Did the archaic nominative and/or genitive singular feminine ending in ja/ya in Mycenaean Greek derive from the Minoan language?

Did the archaic nominative and/or genitive singular feminine ending in ja/ya in Mycenaean Greek derive from the Minoan language?

teal banner feminine nominative or genitive

In the glossary below of:
A: masculine Mycenaean Linear B words ending in jo
B: feminine Mycenaean Linear B words ending in ja
C: Minoan Linear A words ending in ja

These are the keys:
nom. = nominative
gen. = genitive

All Linear B entries are drawn Latinized as is from Chris Tselentis’ Linear A Lexicon. 
A: Most Linear B nouns in jo are nominative:

A-da-ra-ti-jo Adrastios nom.
ai-ki-a2-ri-jo aigihalios = coastal, of the coast gen.
a-ka-ta-jo Aktaios nom.
a-ke-re-wi-jo Agrevios nom.
akorajo= used for communal purposes + for the marketplace gen.
a-mi-ni-si-jo Amnisos nom.
a-pi-no-e-wi-jo ethnic name of Amphinoevioi gen.
arejo = areios (divine epithet)nom.
a-te-mi-ti-jo = Artemitios nom.
da-ja-ro = Daiaros nom.
da-mi-ni-jo = Damnios nom.
da-ta-ja-ro = Dataiaros nom.
da-wi-jo = ethnic name of Davios gen.
de-u-ka-ri-jo = Deukalion nom.
di-ka-ta-jo = Diktaios Cf. Linear A nom.
di-u-jo + diwijo = belonging to Zeus gen.
du-ni-jo = Dynios nom.
dwo-jo = of two gen.
e-to-ni-jo = etonion = free-hold nom.
e-wi-ta-jo = ethnic name of Evitaios nom.
kakijo = made of copper gen
ku-te-se-jo = kyteseios = made from ebony gen.

B: Most Linear words in ja are nominative:

a-ko-ra-ja= used for communal purposes + for the marketplace gen.
a-mo-te-wi-ja armothevia = description of a pot (gen. sing.?)gen.
a-ne-moi-ere-ja = priestess of the winds nom.
a-ni-ja = ania = reins (neut. pl.) nom.
a-pa-ta-wa-ja = ethnic name of Aptarfaia nom.
a-ra-ka-te-ja = alakateiai = weavers nom.
a-ra-ru-ja = ararya = bound, equipped nom.
a-re-ja = areia (divine epithet) nom.
a-si-ja-ti-ja = Asiatiai nom.
a-si-wi-ja = Asivia nom.
a-te-re-wi-ja = Atreivia nom.
da-wi-ja = ethnic name of Davia gen.
de-di-ku-ja = dedikyia = being apprenticed adjectival
di-pi-si-ja = ethnic name of Dipsia gen.
di-u-ja = diyia = priestess of the god Zeus nom.
e-qe-si-ja = related to a follower gen.
e-ru-mi-ni-ja = elymniai = roof beams nom.
e-sa-re-wi-ja = Esalevia nom.
e-to-ki-ja = entoihia = fittings for insertion in walls nom.
e-wi-ri-pi-ja = ethnic name of Evripia gen.  
i-je-re-ja = priestess nom.
i-ni-ja = personal name = Inia nomm.
i-pe-me-de-ja = personal name =Iphemedeia nom.
ka-da-mi-ja = somee product related to garden cress nom.
ka-ki-ja/ka-ke-ja = made of copper = khalkia gen.
ka-pi-ni-ja = kapnia = chimney nom.
ke-ra-me-ja = personal name = Kerameia nom.
ke-ro-si-ja = geronsia = council of elders nom. + gen.
ke-se-ne-wi-ja = xenwia adjectival
ko-ki-re-ja = kolhireia = shell=shaped, spiral adjectival
ko-no-si-ja = Knosia = ethnic name of Knossos gen.
nu-wa-i-ja = numfaia = kind of textile of water-lily colour nom. + gen.
pa-ta-ja = paltaia =  arrow nom.
po-si-da-e-ja = Posidaeia nom.
pu-ka-ta-ri-ja = type of cloth nom.
pu2-te-ri-ja = phuteria = planted, cultivated adjectival
qe-ra-si-ja = Kerasia (name of goddess) nom.
ra-e-ja = laheia = made of stone gen.
ra-ja = Raia nom.
ri-ne-ja = lineiai = flax workers nom.
ro-u-si-je-wi-ja = Lousieveia = originating in/from Lousos gen.
se-to-i-ja = Setoia nom.
si-to-po-ti-ni-ja= sitopotnia = goddess of grain nom. + gen.
te-o-po-ri-ja = Theophoria = religious feast nom.
ti-ri-ja= tria = three nom.
we-a-re-ja = vealeia = made of glass adjectival + gen.

C: what are all the Minoan Linear A words below ending in ja supposed to represent? Are all or even some of them either nouns or adjectives? Just because they are in Mycenaean Linear B does not constitute proof that they are in Linear A. Nevertheless, they could be.    

NOTE that it is highly unusual, if not inexplicable, for there to be 57 words with the ultimate ja in Linear A, but none whatsoever ending in jo. This leads me to believe that it is extremely risky to assume that all of these Minoan words with ultimate ja are either nominative or genitive feminine singular. Just because they are in Mycenaean Linear B does not at all necessarily imply that they are so in Linear A. That would be jumping to conclusions. Nevertheless, there may be a case for assuming that Minoan Linear A words with ultimate ja may possibly be either nominative or genitive feminine singular, in which case it would appear that the Mycenaean nominative or genitive feminine singular words with the ultimate ja may possibly be derived from their Minoan precedents. But there is no way of proving this.

C: 57/988 Minoan Linear A words with the ultimate ja:

dija Cf. LB di-u-ja = diyia = priestess of the god Zeus
jadireja 10
kupa3rija *
masaja (of larger? L&S 426)
masuja 20
mireja (belonging to a sheep? L&S 443) 
nukisikija *
paja 30
pasarija *
radasija *
redamija *
reduja 40
sidija *
tikuja 50
waja (land)
zanwaija 57

These 57 Minoan Linear A words may be either:
1 the primordial nominative singular feminine
2 the primordial genitive singular feminine
3 neither

The last scenario is just as probable as the first two.

CRITICAL POST: What is Mycenaean Linear B progressive grammar & how do we derive it from attested (A) grammatical forms?

CRITICAL POST: What is Mycenaean Linear B progressive grammar & how do we derive it from attested (A) grammatical forms?

We must first extrapolate as many elements of attested (A) grammar from extant Linear B tablets as we possibly can before even thinking of addressing Mycenaean Linear B derived (D) progressive grammar.  I shall significantly expand this post in a new article soon to appear on my academia.edu account. Pardon the pun, but keep posted. This article, which is to serve as the formal introduction to derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar, is bound to have a decisive impact on the Linear B research community. If this is not enough, just wait until researchers are confronted with the entire corpus of derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar, which is much larger and more comprehensive than anyone can currently imagine, apart from myself.  Since no one to date has ever assayed a relatively complete reconstruct of Mycenaean grammar, THAT will really hit home! The essays on derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar will need to be subdivided by grammatical categories, verbs first, then nouns, etc., to prevent us from overwhelming our readers with the substantial mass of data we shall be covering.    

Before we can even pose the question, “What is Mycenaean Linear B derived (D) progressive grammar?”, we must account for any and all traces of Mycenaean grammar on the extant tablets. If we are to rely on the Mycenaean Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance, for signs of Mycenaean grammar, we are bound to be somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, there remains on the Linear B tablets a corpus of Mycenaean grammar, considerably more substantial than we might have suspected, which is sufficiently viable for the reconstruction from the ground up of significant corpus of Mycenaean derived (D) grammar. In fact, the attributed (A) elements of Mycenaean grammar on extant Linear B tablets provide us with more than enough ammunition to reconstruct a wide spectrum of derived (D) Mycenaean grammar, as we shall soon see. From scanning through Chris Tselentis’ splendid Linear B Lexicon and other extant sources of Mycenaean Greek, I have been able to isolate the following snippets of extant, i.e. attributed (A), Mycenaean grammar.  These I have categorized by the discrete grammatical categories with which we are all familiar. 


NOTE that I am resorting to Prof. L.R. Palmer’s convention of LATINIZING all Linear B syllabograms, hence, words and phrases, since listing as many Mycenaean Linear B as I have even for attested (A) grammatical forms is a very tedious process not worth my trouble, let alone anyone else’s. However, I am providing in this post a few examples of actual attested (A) Linear B words, along with the complete derived (D) conjugation of didomi (I give), derived from the attested (A) didosi (they give) below. Here is the conjugation in the present active tense of the athematic verb didomi, fully restored:


Here you see examples of some of the grammatical forms listed in the attested (A) glossary below:


For Prof. L.R. Palmer’s extremely comprehensive glossary of Mycenaean Linear B words, see The Interpretation of Mycenaean Texts (1963), pp 403-466. Apart from Chris Tselentis’ Linear B Lexicon, this is far and away the most useful source of Mycenaean Linear B. 

KEY to abbreviations:

ps = person singular; pp = person plural; f = future; o = optative; dat = dative; pi (siffix)= instrumental or primeval ablative case e.g teukepi = with instruments or paraphernalia



akee = to send
akere = to gather, collect
apieke – to be covered all over
apudoke = to deliver
ekee = to have, hold
eree = to row
ereuterose = to set free, deliver from  
pere = to bring
piriye = to saw
woze = to work

Future passive:
dekasato = to be accepted

eureuterose = to set free (in the future)

Present indicative active:
ake 3 ps = he or she guides (sends?)
apeeke 3ps = he or she lets go
apieke 3ps = it contains???
apudoke 3ps = he or she delivers
didosi 3pp = they give, devote, grant
dose(i) 3ps = he or she gives
dososi 3pp = they give
ekamate 3ps = he or she stays
eke 3ps = he or she has
eko 2ps = I have
ekome 1pp = we have
ekote 2pp = you have
ekosi 3pp they have
eesi 3ps 3pp = he or she is, there is/they are?
ereutero 1ps = I set free
kitiyesi 3pp = they cultivate 
operosi 3pp = they owe
oudidosi 3pp = they do not give, are not giving
pasi 3pp = they say 
pere = he or she brings
piriyo = I saw (i.e. a log)
ponike 3ps = he or she decorates with a griffin
teke = he or she puts or sets
toqide 3ps = it has spirals
weke = he or she works
wide = he or she sees
zeukesi 3pp = they yoke or span  

Present passive:
ekeyoto = they are included

Present optative:
epikowo 3ps = that he or she may pay attention to
euketo 3ps = that he or she may wish (for)
qiriyato = that he or she may buy
uruto = he or she may guard

didosi = they gave = 3rd. person plural present tense
odoke = he or she gave
oporo = they owed
teke = he or she assigned
owide (wide) = he or she saw


Present Active:
apeaso/a 3ps = absent 
diuyo/a or diwiyo/a 3ps = belonging
eko/ekontes 3ps/3pp = having
eo 3ps = being
iyote 3pp = coming
kesenewiyo/a = hospitable (a divine epithet)
opero 3ps & operoso/a + operote 3pp = owing
oromeno/a = watching over
ouwoze = not working
temidweta/te = having rims, i.e. with rims  
tetukuwoa/tetukuwea2 = well prepared, ready (for distribution on the market)
toqideyo/a + toqideweso/a = with spirals
zesomeno/a = boiling

Present passive:

anono = not rented
audeweso/a = decorated with rosettes?
dedemeno/a = bound
dedomeno/a = (things) being offered
dedukuyo/a = being apprenticed to
epididato/a = distributed
erapameno/a = sown (as of cloth)
ereutero/a = set free
kuparisiyo/ya = made of cypress
pitiro2weso/a = adorned with feathers 
zeukesi 3ppdat = yoked, spanned
wozomeno/a = being fashioned/well made  

tetukuwo/a = well prepared, ready Cf. etoimo/a (D)

Perfect passive:
aetito/a = not used?
akitito/a = untitled?
amoiyeto/a = just delivered
anamoto/a = not assembled
apato/a = not sown?
emito/a = hired, paid
epididato/a = distributed
epizoto/a = bound, tied on top of
iyeto/a = delivered, offered up (religious connotation)
kakodeto/a = bound with copper?
kekaumeno/a = burned, razed to the ground
metakekumeno/a = dismantled?
qeqinomeno/a = made by twisting

Future perfect passive:
ewepesesomena = things to be returned *

pi (siffix)= instrumental or primeval * ablative case:
We refer to the ablative case as primeval, since it had completely disappeared from ancient Greek as early as Homer.

teukepi = with instruments or paraphernalia
seremokarapi  = decorated with sirens

In the next post, we shall be addressing the present, future, imperfect, aorist and perfect tenses of thematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B.  

Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in E = 35

Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in E = 35

In this post we find 35 derived (D) infinitives in E in natural Mycenaean Greek.

Here is the table of attested thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter E in Mycenaean Greek:


The 4 sentences in E make it perfectly clear that we are dealing with natural Mycenaean Greek as it was actually spoken. Note that the natural plural in OI is to found in spoken Mycenaean, rather than the singular in O we find almost (but not always) exclusively on the extant Linear B tablets. See infinitives in D for a further explanation for this phenomenon.

It is also highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 24 A + 12 D + 35 E for a TOTAL of 71. I shall indicate the running total as we proceed through the alphabet.

Did you know you speak Mycenaean Greek? You do! A-K = akero to kono

Did you know you speak Mycenaean Greek? You do!

Mycenaean Greek in Modern English: akero to kono: Click to ENLARGE

akero to kono


[1] The Mycenaean word “anemon” is genitive plural (“of the winds”) for “anemo” = “wind”, and like so many other Mycenaean words, it serves as the first part of English words dealing with various aspects of wind (generation), such as “anemometer”. All other entries with the tag [1] are of this type.
[2] The first syllabogram i.e. the first syllable of the Mycenaean word for “labyrinth” begins with “da”, since it is impossible for any Mycenaean word to begin with “la”, as they had no “l”. Normally, the “r” + vowel series of syllabograms replaces a Greek lambda, but in this case, the Mycenaeans opted for “da”  instead of “ra” (which would have been “rapuritoyo”). This is not unusual. 
[3] “at the teacher’s” = French chez le professeur, with is an archaic version of either the dative or the instrumental singular. 
[4] “duwo” is Mycenaean for ancient Greek “duo”. It must be expressed by the special syllabogram for “talent, scale or two”, which in fact does look like a scale.   
[5] A great many modern English words begin with the ancient Greek preposition “epi”. I have provided two examples here. 
[6] The original Mycenaean & Homeric meaning of the English word for “elephant” meant “ivory”, but the meaning gradually changed to the former by the time of Classical Athens. In the Attic dialect, the word meant “elephant”. Remember, Mycenaean Greek had no “l” series of syllabograms, using the “r” series instead. There is confusion in many languages over the liquids “l” & “r”, modern Japanese being a prime example of this phenomenon.
[7] Many English words begin with the Mycenaean and ancient Greek prefix “eu”, which always means “well” (healthy) or “positive” or similar notions. Hence the English word you see here.
[8] Mycenaean “kadamiya” is a pre-Greek, proto-Indoeuropean word. 
[9] The Mycenaean word “kono” omits the initial “s” in the ancient Greek word “schoinos”. This is very common in Mycenaean Greek. Since the ancient Greek work means “rush” (plant), the modern English scientific word is also a plant, although a different one.



The Gezer Agricultural Almanac 925 BCE, Comparison Between the Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet on it & Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

The Gezer Agricultural Almanac 925 BCE, Comparison Between the Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet on it & Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

Gezer Calendar or Almanach 925 BCE original versus Linear B

The Gezer Agricultural Almanac or Calendar was discovered in 1908 by R.A.S. Macalister of the Palestine Exploration Fund during the excavation of the ancient Canaanite city of Gezer, 32 kilometres to the west of Jerusalem. Inscribed on limestone, it describes monthly or bi-monthly periods of agricultural activities such as harvesting, planting or tending to specific crops. Paleo-linguistic scholars are divided concerning the language it is written in, some believing it to be Phoenician, others Proto-Canaanite, otherwise known as Paleo-Hebrew. But since the tablet makes as much sense in Paleo-Hebrew as it does in Phoenician (even though the translations must perforce differ), this raises a serious question which cannot be safely ignored over the perceived theoretical or actual relationship between the Phoenician and the Paleo-Hebrew alphabets, which in turn raises the further question whether or not Paleo-Hebrew is itself directly derived from Phoenician. Although open to dispute, if this notion holds any water, then the Proto-Canaanite or Paleo-Hebrew alphabet may very well be directly derived from the Phoenician, in which case even the ancient classical Hebrew alphabet, spawned from Paleo-Hebrew, is also indirectly derived from the Phoenician alphabet, despite appearances to the contrary.

But the vein may run even deeper. Since many scholars believe that the Phoenician alphabet grew out of Egyptian hieroglyphics, this in turn implies that the ancient Paleo-Hebrew alphabet at least is indirectly descended from Egyptian hieroglyphics. But there is a further complication. Since Paleo-Hebrew post-dates the almost identical syllabaries, Minoan Linear A by 7 centuries & Mycenaean Linear B, the latter falling into obscurity with the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization ca. 1200 BCE, fully 200 years before the advent of Proto-Canaanite, what are we to make of that? This is all the more pressing an issue, given that no fewer than 12 of 61 or 20 % of Linear B syllabograms look strikingly like the Paleo-Hebrew letters on the Gezer Calendar? if in fact it is written in Hebrew.

For the sake of argument and sheer practicality, let us say it is. If that is the case, then we have to wonder whether or not both the Phoenician and Proto-Canaanite alphabets were actually at least partially derived from either Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B or both. Given this scenario, it is open to serious doubt whether or not the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets were exclusively derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics alone. This hypothesis cannot be safely ignored, given the striking similarities in particular characters in all 4 of these scripts, Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B, Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew. However, there is a wrench in the works. If this hypothesis is correct, then why on earth did both the Phoenician and Proto-Canaanite alphabets lose the five vowels of their more ancient predecessors, Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B? So we are left with an irresolvable conundrum.

Nevertheless, this hypothesis does raise doubts over Egyptian hieroglyphics being the sole ancestor of the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets. Why so? ... because neither Minoan Linear A nor Mycenaean Linear B are the offshoots of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Back to our messy little paradox. The Gezer Almanac is held in the Archaeological Museum Artifacts Collection of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums (ISTANBUL ARKEOLOJI MÜZELERI), here:

Istanbul Archeological Museums Logo
In the next three posts, I shall:

1. post a table illustrating the comparison between the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets, which are almost identical;
2. draw a thorough comparison between the Paleo-Hebrew letters (consonants only) on the Gezer Almanac and the 12 syllabograms + one ideogram in Mycenaean Linear B which resemble them;
3. translate the Gezer Calendar into Mycenaean Linear B, to clearly demonstrate the extremely close parallel in the efficacy of both scripts for statistical inventories. If anything, this remarkable parallelism reinforces the possibility that the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets may at least partially be outcrops of Minoan Linear A (preceding them both by at least 700 years) & Mycenaean Linear B, disappearing two centuries prior to widespread appearance of the former at the outset of what is commonly and largely erroneously referred to as the Dark Ages of the early Iron Age (ca. 1100-780 BCE).



Table of Athematic Third Declension Nouns & Adjectives in “eu” in Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

Table of Athematic Third Declension Nouns & Adjectives in “eu” in Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

Nouns & Adjectives in EU Athemtic Third Declension Mycenaean Greek Linear B

NOTE: this table took me 12 hours (!) to compile. I sincerely hope that some of our visitors will acknowledge this in some way or other, by tagging the post with LIKE,  assigning it the numbers of STARS they believe it merits, by re-blogging it, posting it on Facebook, tweeting it, posting it on Scoopit, whatever...  
Based on the template declension of the noun qasireu = “viceroy” in Mycenaean Linear B, itself derived in large part from extant archaic forms in The Catalogue of Ships of Book II of the Iliad by Homer, we have here all of the nouns, including proper, and adjectives I have been able to cull from various sources, all of which are referenced in the KEY at the top of the table.

There are a few items in particular we need to take into consideration:

(a) Apart from proper nouns, there are very few extant or derived nouns or adjectives in “eu” in Mycenaean Linear B;
(b) The astonishing thing about the extant proper nouns is that a considerable number of them are also found in The Catalogue of Ships of Book II of the Iliad, in the most archaic Greek, hence, the most reliable source for derived Mycenaean proper names. While some proper names which are found in the Linear B Lexicon by Chris Tselentis are not found in The Catalogue of Ships, they are nevertheless Homeric. When I say “Homeric”, I refer specifically to proper names solely from The Catalogue of Ships, as those which are found elsewhere in the Iliad or the Odyssey may not be authentic Mycenaean eponymns or names, unless of course they are replicated in The Catalogue of Ships. I am, in short, extremely reticent to accept proper names as Mycenaean, unless they occur in The Catalogue of Ships.
(c) On the other hand, the rest of the proper names found in this table may very well be, and some of them must be authentic Mycenaean proper names. Given this, it is quite probable that at least some of these names not to be found anywhere in Homer are nevertheless the names of original Mycenaean heroes and warriors, which might have been mentioned in an original Mycenaean epic of the Trojan War, almost certainly oral. It is absolutely critical in this scenario to underscore one point in particular: that if there ever did exist a Mycenaean epic upon which the Iliad was based, such a (stripped-down) epic could only have seeded The Catalogue of Ships, and no other part of the Iliad or Odyssey, since it is in The Catalogue of Ships alone that we find far and away the greatest number of occurrences of archaic Greek, and not in the remainder of the Iliad or the Odyssey. Some will of course argue that some archaic remnants still pop up here and there in the the remainder of the Iliad and Odyssey, but it is important to realize in this particular that Homer most likely – indeed, almost certainly – (unconsciously) carried over the habit of using bits and pieces of archaic Greek, much more common in The Catalogue of Ships, to the rest of the epic cycle.

In fact, there is real doubt that he ever did compose outright The Catalogue of Ships. Rather, it appears, he may very well have had access to an earlier, archaic epic, which had indeed been copied from its original Mycenaean template. He then in turn copied the whole thing lock-stock-and-barrel, embellishing it with his own peculiar style in so-called Epic Greek, as he went along. That seems the more likely scenario to me. At any rate, the more simplistic structure, and above all other considerations, the characteristically Mycenaean inventory have stamped themselves prominently on The Catalogue of Ships alone. If nothing else, there can be little or no doubt that the entire Catalogue of Ships (exclusive of the rest of Book II of the Iliad,  which was a later addition) was composed well before the rest of the Iliad, and long before the Odyssey.

So the question remains, Who were all those Mycenaean warriors? Which ones had Homer forgotten, or conveniently omitted from The Catalogue of Ships? One thing appears almost undeniable. The proper names we see in this table, which are not in The Catalogue of Ships, are very likely those of Mycenaean wanaka or kings, qasirewe or viceroys, heroes and other assorted warriors. Why they do not appear anywhere in the Iliad is beyond our reckoning. But they do appear on extant Mycenaean Linear B tablets, and this constitutes enough evidence for me that they were important figures to the Mycenaeans.


Derivative [D] Reconstruction of the First Aorist in Linear B

Derivative [D] Reconstruction of the First Aorist in Linear B (Click to ENLARGE):

progressive linear b reconstruction of the first aorist of the verb KAU to burn
Taking the First Aorist conjugation (EKAUSA) of the verb KAUO “to burn” from the Homeric Greek as our point of departure for regression to the same tense in Linear B, we end up with the paradigm illustrated in the table above.

It is impossible for me to reconstruct the 2nd. person sing. or the 3rd. person pl. of   this verb in Linear B with any degree of certainty, as the Homeric conjugation necessitates that these persons end with a consonant, for which Linear B, consisting of syllabograms and vowels only, cannot account.

We have now successfully reconstructed (for the most part) the following tenses of Linear B verbs: the present, the future & the first aorist of active verbs. We shall eventually proceed to regressively reconstruct the imperfect & perfect tenses (leaving aside the pluperfect, as it is very rare even in ancient alphabetical Greek). Afterwards, we shall move onto the same conjugations for middle & passive verbs. Finally, later this year, we shall attempt to reconstruct at least some of the conjugations in the subjunctive and optative, in so far as this is feasible.

Once we have reconstructed the conjugations of Linear B verbs in all tenses, voices & moods, we shall move onto the reconstruction of the declensions of nouns & adjectives, probably in the summer of 2014. As we can already glean, the reconstruction of Linear B grammar is a highly labour-intensive project, but this is, after all,the whole point of this blog.


Cross-Correlation: Present Tense Active of Mycenaean Verbs (Heady stuff!)

Cross-Correlation: Present Tense Active of Mycenaean Verbs (Heady stuff!)

Cross-Correlation: Present Tense Active of Mycenaean Verbs (Click to ENLARGE):

Progressive_Linear_B Grammatical Cross_Correlation Present_Tense Endings Attributed A & Derived D

We now introduce the endings, both Attributed [A] and Derived [D] for all persons of the Present Tense Active of 13 Mycenaean Verbs + 1 Derivative Verb [KATAKAUEE – to burn to the ground – from – KAUEE to burn] = 14.  Several forms for different persons of the present tense active of Mycenaean verbs are are Attributed [A], i.e. they are actually found on tablets.
A very few Linear B verbs, most notably EKEE (to have) have more attested forms for more persons than practically all others.  In fact, EKEE has Attributed [A] or attested forms for the infinitive, 1st. & 3rd. persons sing. & the 3rd. person plural. The second person singular and first and second persons plural are not to be found on any tablet.  However, this does not prevent us from deriving the first and second persons plural of the verb EKO, since these can be intuitively deduced from their Classical Greek equivalents. Since the evidence for the infinitive, and first & third persons sing. & pl. is incontrovertible, and these forms are almost identical to their much later Classical equivalents, we can pretty much safely conclude that the reconstruction of derived [D] forms of the 1st. & 2nd. persons plural will also faithfully correspond with their later equivalents, as for the verb “to have” for which I transcribe the entire conjugation of the present tense into Latin, so that those of you who cannot read Greek will instantly see the striking similarity between its Classical and Mycenaean conjugations.

echein (to have)
echo (I have)
echeis (you have)
echei (he/she has)
echomen (we have)
echete (you have)
echousi (they have)

[A] = Attributive [D] = derived
ekee (to have) [A]
eko (I have) [A]
eke (he/she has) [A]
ekome (we have) [D]
ekete (you have)  [D]
ekosi (they have) [A]

Oh and that reminds me, if anyone who knows Greek objects that the verb “echein” is irregular, that may be so, but not in the present tense active.  So the objection is entirely academic. 

So even though the Mycenaean Linear B 1st. & 2nd. persons plural are not to be found anywhere on the tablets, it is very easy to reconstruct or derive [D] them by means of Regressive Extrapolation from their much later Greek equivalents, which is precisely what I have done here.  But, you ask, why is the 2nd. person singular missing? Since the 2nd. person sing. of regular verbs in Classical Greek always ends with a consonant, for instance, as in echeis = you have, we would end up with EKEISE in Linear B, which I for one find difficult to justify, as I am only making a wild guess.  If there is one principle I hold as sacrosanct in my Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar & Vocabulary, it is this: if the attempt to reconstruct any grammatical form whatsoever by means of Regressive  Extrapolation from its later Greek form to its putative Linear B equivalent results in a catch-22, then the Principle of Regression must not be applied, since to do so would invalidate it.  So I simply don't bother.  If there is any Linear B researcher out there who feels confident of the reconstruction of the 2nd. person sing. of the present tense in Linear B, I would be most grateful if that person would share his or her insights with me.

As for the derived [D] 1st. person plural in Linear B = EKOME, it is necessary to drop the final “n” of the Classical Greek “echomen”, since no Linear B word can end in a consonant.  All syllabograms must end in a vowel, and that is the end of it.  However, this in no way invalidates the Linear B form of the 1st. person pl. = EKOME, at least not to my mind.  The situation with the 2nd. person pl. = EKETE rests on firm ground, since it is for all intents and purposes identical to its Classical counterpart.  The same applies to the 3rd. person pl. = EKOSI, which is attested [A].  The Classical ending “OUSI”, sometimes written as “ONSI” is always rendered as “OSI” in Mycenaean Greek.  

One final observation: it just so happens that, whatever Attributed [A] forms survive for any person of the present tense of any regular Mycenaean verb, however few these may be – and in fact always are for most other verbs  – whenever and wherever they do appear, they are always identical to their corresponding forms in the Linear B verb EKO.  This applies to both Correlated verbs such as AKEE, APIKEE, APUDOKEE & TEKEE, for which the stem of the infinitive KE is identical to that of EKO, and for Cross-Correlated verbs, viz. those for which the infinitive ends with a different syllabogram, e.g. AKEREE, DOSEE, EREE, KAUEE, PEREE & WOZEE, since the conjugation of all regular verbs in both Classical Greek and Linear B is always the same.  A rose is a rose is a rose.  The conjugation of the present tense is the conjugation of the present tense... no need to belabour the point. This goes for Greek (ancient and modern), Latin, English, French, German, Italian, you name it, any Western language.  The endings of the present tense never vary for any regular verb. But what is really astonishing about the declension of the present tense active of regular verbs is that the conjugation scarcely changes at all in the 400-500 YEARS between the disappearance of Linear B and the advent of alphabetic Greek literature with the Iliad and Odyseey of Homer.

Now THAT is a mind blower! I lay particular emphasis on this incontrovertible phenomenon, since in the near future I will return to my observations in this regard, when I come to face head-on those (apparently envious) naysayers who deny that Linears B is Greek, and shatter their so-called arguments against Michael Ventris' brilliant decipherment.  And I have plenty of ammunition to back up my hypotheses.  It strikes me as particularly egregious that there are people, some of whom style themselves "researchers" of Linear B, take so much trouble to deprecate the grteat achievement of one such as Michael Ventris, one of those rare geniuses we ever get to really appreciate for all their worth. Do they fancy themselves more brilliant than Michael Ventris? That is like saying you are brighter than Albert Einstein!  I for one would never presume to even go there!      

The Principles of Correlation & Cross-Correlation dove-tail perfectly with this phenomenon. 

Had enough?  So have I. Let's give it a rest (for now).


The Principle of Correlation in Progressive Reconstruction of the Present Tense of verbs in KEE

The Principle of Correlation in Progressive Reconstruction of the Present Tense of verbs in KEE (Click to twice to ENLARGE):

Linear B CorrelationVerbs in KEE 1024

We have now come to the next step in the reconstruction of Mycenaean Linear B grammar, based on the Principle of Correlation in Progressive Reconstruction of the Present Tense of Mycenaean verbs. The first step in the process is to understand how Correlation works at its simplest level by correlating the conjugation of the 3 extant Linear B verbs, for which the 3rd. person sing. only is found on extant tablets with their much later complete Greek conjugations. Yet even with this single form, I feel confident that I can reconstruct the present tense of these 3 verbs, with the sole exception of the 2nd. person sing., which for various reasons I do not feel I should attempt to reconstruct.


In a nutshell, my new theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar is based on the assumption that it is possible to reconstruct a good deal of Mycenaean grammar, which is missing from any extant tablets, from those grammatical forms which have been found (i.e. attested = A) on extant tablets.

Principles expounded to date are:

As illustrated in the table above, it is not only possible, but feasible to reconstruct the present tense active of extant verbs whose infinitive ends in KEE. Here is how it is done:

1 First, taking one later ancient Greek conjugation as my point of departure, I attempt to reconstruct its present tense in Mycenaean Greek by correlating the forms in the present tense of its ancient conjugation to at least one existing form of the same verb found on extant Linear B tablets. The verb I chose as my reference is EKEE, since there are more extant forms for it on Linear B tablets than for the other 2 verbs in KEE, i.e. AKEE & TEKEE. This verb (EKEE) thus becomes the paradigm verb, since the conjugations of the other 2 verbs are derived (D) from it.
2 It is pretty obvious that if I can reconstruct the present tense of the paradigm verb, the other 2 verbs must be conjugated the same way in Mycenaean Greek, because they are all conjugated the same way in ancient Greek. This process I call Correlation, since after all I am correlating the conjugation of the other 2 verbs in KEE with that of the paradigm verb, EKEE.
3 However, before I can even do this, I must first of all derive the Linear B conjugation of the present tense of the paradigm verb EKEE from its later Greek counterpart, as illustrated above. Since we are moving chronologically backwards in time to do this, I call this process Regressive Extrapolation.
4 Once I have determined the most likely equivalents in Linear B to their counterparts in later Greek, I simply deduce the entire Linear B conjugation from the later Greek. This process of reconstruction of the present tense of verbs in KEE I refer to as Progressive Reconstruction.
5 Finally, having successfully reconstructed the present tense of EKEE, I simply correlate its conjugation with the other 2 verbs through the process of Correlation. And they all come up the same.

NOTE: I found it impossible to reconstruct the second person singular of the present tense of these verbs, since the 2nd. pers. sing. of their cognate later Greek verbs ends in a consonant. That is a real problem in Linear B, since no verb (or for that matter any word) can end in a consonant, because the syllabary is comprised of syllabograms, which always end in vowels, + the 5 vowels. Thus, I can form no clear idea of how the 2nd. pers. sing. must have looked like. If anyone else can, I welcome your input.

The General Principle of Correlation:

Now, I wish to stress that in some instances, I believe it is possible to reconstruct a good chunk of some grammatical forms: (verbal, nominal & adjectival) conjugations, the use of cases (genitive, dative & accusative) with prepositions, and so on. In other instances, it is much more difficult to reconstruct certain parts of speech or grammatical forms for the simple reason that there are not enough grammatical forms for these to be found on any extant tablets for such reconstruction to be practical or warranted.

Throughout 2014, I will be developing and perfecting my Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar, beginning with the present and future tenses of all regular verbs, and moving on to other tenses: the aorist, imperfect, pluperfect, and so on. Once I have tackled the active indicative mood of verbs in Linear B, I will move on to the passive, and finally to the optative, for which some forms are found on extant tablets. To my knowledge, the subjunctive appears to be absent from extant Linear B tablets, though I may very well be wrong. If I am, I sincerely hope someone will let me know.

Once I have finished with verbs, I will move on to adjectives and nouns, and finally round out my attempts at reconstruction with prepositions and the cases they govern (genitive, dative and accusative).

This will certainly take up all of 2014.