Tag Archive: French

Rational partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada)  & the first real glimpse of Minoan grammar actualized:

LinearA tablet HT 117 Haghia Triada 620

This albeit partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada) incorporates an approximately equal admixture of Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language, also known as the Minoan substratum (of which I am unable to decipher most of the words) and of New Minoan, i.e. the superstratum of words of probable Mycenaean provenance, most of which I have been able to decipher with relative ease. While some of the New Minoan translations obviously appear to break the grammatical rules of Mycenaean Greek, such as mitu for “mint”, which is after all mita (and feminine) in Mycenaean Greek or daminu for “in 1 village”, which is damo in the nominative in Linear B, these adjustments can be readily accounted for by the fact that Old Minoan grammar is not at all the same beast as Mycenaean grammar. Although we are not yet familiar with much of Old Minoan grammar, which is after all the grammar of Minoan, just the same as modernized Anglo-Saxon grammar is the grammar of English, in spite of the enormous superstratum of French, Latin and Greek words in the latter language, this tablet alone perhaps affords us a first glimpse into the mechanics of Minoan grammar. Thus, it would appear that mitu may be the Minoan accusative of mita, and daminu may be the locative of damo in Minoan. Although there is no scientific way for me to substantiate this claim, I believe I am onto something, and that I may be making the first cracks in the obdurate wall of the grammar of the Minoan language substratum.  If this is so, then I may be actually pointing the way to unravelling at least a subset of Old Minoan grammar.  To illustrate my point, let us take a look at these phrases in English, as adapted from their Norman  French superstrata.  In French, the phrases would read as follows: avec la menthe”& “ dans le village”, whereas in English they read as “with mint” & “in the village”. Take special note of the fact that, while the Norman French superstrata words in English, “mint” and “village” are (almost) identical to their Norman French counterparts, the grammar of the phrases is entirely at odds, because after the grammar of French, which is a Romance language, and of English, which is a Germanic, cannot possibly coincide.  But here again, I must emphatically stress that English grammar is an entirely different matter than English vocabulary, of which the latter is only 26 % Germanic, but 29 % French, 29 % Latin and 4 % Greek, the latter 3 languages, namely, the superstrata, accounting for fully 64 % of all English vocabulary! We must always make this clear distinction between English grammar, which is essentially Anglo-Saxon modernized, and English vocabulary, which is only minimally Germanic.

If we carry this hypothesis to its logical outcome, we can readily surmise that the same phenomenon applies to the Linear A syllabary. Where grammar is concerned, the Linear A syllabary is Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language or substrate. Where vocabulary is concerned, Linear A represents an admixture of Old Minoan vocabulary, such as uminase, kuramu, kupa3nu (kupainu), tejare and nadare (all of which I cannot decipher) and of New Minoan Mycenaean derived vocabulary, such as makarite, mitu, sata, kosaiti and daminu on this tablet alone. The orthography of the latter words is not actually consistent with Mycenaean grammar, because constitutionally it cannot be. Once again, the grammar is always Minoan, whereas the vocabulary often falls into the New Minoan (Mycenaean derived) superstratum.

In the case of makarite, it would appear that, if the word is dative in Minoan, the Minoan dative is similar to the Mycenaean, ending as it seems to in i. The ultimate te in makarite appears to be the Mycenaean or ancient Greek enclitic te (and). In the case of mitu, which is mita and feminine in Mycenaean Greek, it would appear that the Minoan word is either masculine or that in this case at least, it is instrumental, meaning “with mint”, in which case the Minoan feminine instrumental appears to terminate with u. The word kosaiti appears to follow the same lines. The first two syllables, kosai, apparently are Mycenaean, but the ultimate ti is Minoan, and once again, instrumental (plural). Again, daminu appears to repeat the same pattern. The word damo is masculine (or neuter) in Mycenaean. But the ultimate is inu here, which appears to be the Minoan locative, inu. To summarize, we must make a clear-cut distinction between any New Minoan vocabulary on any Linear A tablet, and its orthography, which must of necessity follow the orthographic conventions of the Minoan language, and not of the Mycenaean, from which any such words are derived. I intend to make this abundantly clear in subsequent posts.  

Proto-Greek or Mycenaean kiritai = barley on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 114 (Haghia Triada):

Like many other Linear A tablets, HT 114 (Haghia Triada) does not appear to be inscribed only in the Minoan language. The proto-Greek or, more accurately, the Mycenaean word, kirita2 (kiritai), which means barley and which is almost exactly equivalent to Linear B, kirita, meaning the very same thing, appears on the very first line of this tablet. The only difference is that the Linear A word, kiritai, is plural, whereas the Linear B, kirita, is singular, as we can see here:

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 114 Haghia Triade

While the rest of HT 114 is inscribed in Minoan, the appearance of this one Mycenaean word gives pause. Was Linear A the syllabary of proto-Greek or of Mycenaean Greek just before the advent of the new official syllabary, Linear B? The fact is that it was not. However, this does not mean that there was not proto-Greek or Mycenaean vocabulary on Linear A tablets. How can this be, when the language itself is not proto-Greek?

The phenomenon of the superimposition of a superstratum of vocabulary from a source language (Mycenaean in the case of Linear A) onto a target language (Minoan), is historically not unique to the Minoan language. A strikingly similar event occurred in English with the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. Before that date, the only English was Anglo-Saxon. This is what is called Old English. But after conquest of England in 1066 AD, over 10,000 Norman French words streamed into the language between 1100 and 1450 AD, altering the landscape of English vocabulary almost beyond recognition. In fact, believe it or not, only 26 % of English vocabulary is Germanic versus 29 % is French, 29 % Latin and 6 % Greek. So the latter 3 languages, amounting to 64 % of the entire English lexicon, have completely overshadowed the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Germanic vocabulary, as illustrated in this Figure:

origins of English vocabulary

This phenomenon is unique to English alone among all of the Germanic languages. While the grammar and syntax of English is Germanic, the great majority of its vocabulary is not. A strikingly similar event appears to have occurred when the Mycenaeans conquered Knossos, is dependencies and Crete ca. 1500 – 1450 BCE. Just as the Norman French superstratum has imposed itself on Old English, giving rise to Middle and Modern English, Mycenaean Greek operated in much the same fashion when it superimposed itself on Old Minoan, leading to New Minoan vocabulary, which is proto-Greek or Mycenaean. I have already isolated no fewer than 150 proto-Greek or Mycenaean words out of 510 intact words (by my own arbitrary count) in the Linear A lexicon. Again, while the Minoan language itself is not proto-Greek in its grammar and syntax, but is of another, to date still unknown, origin, a large portion of its vocabulary is not Old Minoan, but instead proto-Greek or Mycenaean, as I shall demonstrate in no uncertain terms in my decipherments of numerous Linear A tablets to follow this one. One striking feature of New Minoan is this: the percentage of proto-Greek or Mycenaean vocabulary in Linear B comes to 29 %, precisely the same level as Norman French in English. Although this is sheer co-incidence, it is quite intriguing.

2 more black haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French:




2 more haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English & French, this time about silence in the temple…



Happy New Year 2017 in Linear B, Greek, English & French!

Happy New Year 2017 in Linear B, Greek, English & French! 


East Boys







Is it even possible to determine what the word for “fig(s)” is in Minoan Linear A? You may be surprised!

Among several other tablets in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, Linear A tablet HT 88 contains the supersyllabogram NI on the second line:


The question is, what is the actual word for “fig(s)” in Minoan Linear A? Apparently, no-one knows. The odd thing about this supersyllabogram NI is that it was taken over lock-stock-and-barrel by the Mycenaeans. We will never know why, but it is clear that they thought it convenient simply to hang onto it. It may very well be that that the Mycenaeans continued to use the Minoan word for “fig” alongside their early Greek suza. If that is the case, it is all the more relevant for us to attempt to reconstruct the Minoan word for “fig”. Whatever the circumstances, we are still left with the perplexing question, what is the word for “fig” in Minoan Linear A anyway?

In spite of apparently insurmountable obstacles, it may not be so difficult to reconstruct as we might imagine. If we stop to consider even briefly what the word for “fig” is that I have methodically selected in 13 languages, ancient and modern, belonging to 6 different classes, we discover that all but one of them are either monosyllabic or disyllabic. In one instance only is it trisyllabic, pesnika, in Serbian. This does not come as any surprise to me as a linguist, though it may to the so-called  “common person” . Here are the words for “fig” in 16 languages belonging to 6 different languages classes: 
KEY to language classes:

AU = Austronesian/ IN = Indo-European/ LI = language isolate/ NC = Niger-Congo/ SE = Semitic/ UR = Uralic. A language isolate is one which does not belong to any international language class whatsoever, but which stands entirely on its own. 

AU: Indonesian ara Malay rajah Maori piki
IN: French figue German Feige Greek (Mycenaean) suza (Attic) suchon Italian fico Latin ficus Norwegian fiken Portuguese figo Serbian pesnika Spanish higo
LI: Basque piku
NC: Swahili mtimi (sub-class = Bantu)
SE: Maltese tin (the only Semitic language in Latin script)
UR: Finnish kuva

Under the circumstances, I am given to wonder whether or not the Minoan Linear A word for “fig” is monosyllabic, disyllabic or possibly even trisyllabic. It is clear that it cannot be monosyllabic, because the supersyllabogram for “fig” in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B is NI. And supersyllabograms are always the first syllable only of di- tri- or multi-syllabic words in both of these languages. Given this scenario, is it possible or even feasible to reconstruct the Minoan Linear A for “fig”? Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Why so? It just so happens that most Minoan Linear A words which are diminutives are feminine with the ultimate being either pa3 or ra2. Under the circumstances, it only takes one small step to restore the two mostly likely candidates for the Minoan Linear A for “fig”. And these are:


It is of course possible to argue that the Minoan word for “fig” is trisyllabic, but this is highly unlikely, since the only trisyllabic word for “fig” in all 13 of the languages cited above is the Serbian, pesnika. Hence, I am reasonably convinced that the Minoan Linear A word for “fig(s)” is either nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai).

Finally, as it is clear that since the word for “fig(s)” does not even remotely correspond to any of the 13 words in 6 language classes, ancient and modern, above, not even Basque, it may very well turn out that, like Basque, the Minoan language is also a language isolate. I should not be the least but surprised if it were.  

This discussion will be part and parcel in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words”, the third article in a row I shall have published in this prestigious international annual by the beginning of 2018 at the very latest.

Visualiser = Also check TWITTER! Quelle horreur à Paris ! What a horrific mess in Paris!


Visualiser aussi mon compte Twitter :
Also check my Twitter account for Tweets:


New article on academia.edu. My translation of Sappho’s Ode, “The Moon has set, and the Pleiades...” from Aeolic Greek to Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, English and French, here: Click to OPEN

This article with my translation of Sappho’s Ode, “The Moon has set, and the Pleiades...” into two archaic Greek dialects (Linear B & Linear C), as well as into English and French, is the first of its kind ever to appear on the Internet.

Osbert sapho ou  la poésie lyrique
It will eventually be followed by my translations of several other splendid lyrics by Sappho, as well as by serial installments of my translation of the entire Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad by Homer, and several haiku which I have already  composed in parallel Mycenaean Linear B, English & French (I kid you not!)

If you would like to keep up with my ongoing research on academia.edu, you should probably sign yourself up with them, and follow me. Additionally, you can follow anyone else you like, especially those researchers, scholars and authors who are of particular interest to you (not me). And of course, once you have signed up with academia.edu, which is free, you can upload your own research papers, documents, articles, book reviews etc. to your heart’s content.

Oh and by the way, we have a surprise coming up for you all, a research paper by none other than my co-administrator, Rita Roberts of Crete. 


Ode to the Archangel Michael = Ode à l’Archange Michel: Click to ENLARGE = Cliquer pour ÉLARGIR :

Ode to the Archangel Michael a l-archange Michel

As far as I am concerned, the French version of the original Ode in Mycenaean Greek is more successful and more convincing than the English.

Franchement et à mon avis, la traduction du texte intégral de l’Ode en grec mycénien est plus réussi, donc plus convaincant que celle en anglais.     


Le Prince aux lys (sonnet)

(fresque de Cnossos 1500 av. j.c.)

yZn ,<V wanaka kirino #a&nac xri&nwn

Prince of Lilies fresco Knossos

À l’alentour lys épars, échus à ses pieds,

le Prince aux lys séduit de son sortilège

les cuirassiers fiers et leurs coursiers dressés

qu’ils réjouissent en devançant le beau manège.

En pagne embelli d’azur si scintillant

qu’il éblouit les invités, voilà la grâce

d’onyx du bel éphèbe élu, insouciant

du sortilège insinuant Cnossos sans trace.

Devant les murailles aux dauphins ensoleillés,

les vieux augures arrivent à célébrer la joie

du dauphin qui s’incarne aussi aux invités

au mariage à vénérer l’épouse en soie.

Les bien-aimés s’agenouillent et, grâce aux dieux,

sans mot ils s’entrelacent à témoigner leur voeux.

Richard Vallance © 2015,

sonnet révisé ― été publié dans Sonnetto Poesia,

ISSN 1705-4524, pg. 16. Le vol. 6 no. 2, printemps 2007

Je suis Charlie - in French, English & Greek + 11 modern languages & 3 ancient Greek dialects!


I beg you, please be sure to RETWEET this, folks! As a polyglot Canadian, fluent in English and French, conversant with both modern languages and ancient, especially ancient Greek, with some 20 dialects under my belt, including Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, I hope to reach not only everyone alive now, but as many of our ancestors as possible. I do this out of love for all the millions upon millions of people who have been slaughtered by warmongers, manaics, religious fanatics & terrorists, past, present and... God forbid... future!

Je vous prie de tout mon coeur de faire des RETWEETs de ce message des plus urgents! Tout en étant canadien parfaitement bilingue, je suis également polyglotte, connaisseur de plusieurs langues modernes et anciennes, dont une vingtaine de dialèctes grecs tels que le mycénien en linéaire B et le chypro-arcadien en linéaire C. Dans ce but, j’espère communiquer ce message de solidarité bienveillante à tous ceux qui sont encore vivants autant qu’à tous nos ancêtres, dont d’innombrables millions qui ont perdu la vie, tous massacrés par des bellicistes, des maniaques, des fanatiques religieuses et des terroristes d’antan, de nos jours et... à Dieu ne plaise ... incontournablement à l’avenir.

Richard Vallance Janke,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Happy New Year in Greek, Linear B, Linear C, English, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian & German! Click to ENLARGE:

Happy New Year Linear B Knossos & Mycenae

Richard and Rita

Significant Phonetic Variations in the Pronunciation of the L & R + Vowel Series as Reflected in the Linear B & Linear C Syllabaries 

Comparison of the Mycenaean Linear B & the Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Syllabaries: Click to ENLARGE

Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado Cypriot Syllabaries compared

Where the phonetic values of the syllabogram series R + vowel series (the L series missing in Linear B) do sound somewhat different in the two syllabaries, Linear B & Linear C, there is in fact a very sound phonetic reason for this.

But first, let me tell you a little story. If there were such a thing as time-travel into the past or the future, modern Greeks from Athens travelling back to the city in 500 BCE would indeed be shocked at how Greek was pronounced then. Ancient Greeks thrust into the future would have the same reaction – utter disbelief. I myself put this hypothesis to test while I was in Greece in May 2012. I could read modern Greek fairly well even then. But when I tried to communicate with some folks I met in a restaurant with my own plausible version of the ancient Attic dialect (there are actually 3 or 4 possible versions), no-one could understand scarcely a word I spoke. And when I asked my colleagues to speak modern Greek to me, I was equally at a loss. But I could read the menu with no problem.          

Moving on then.

Although the Mycenaean Greeks were apparently unable to pronounce the letter “L”, nothing in fact could be more deceptive to the unwary Occidental ear. It all comes down to a matter of our own ingrained linguistic bias in our own social-cultural context. To us, the Arcadians & Cypriots indeed appear to have already made the distinction between L & R, given that their syllabary contains syllabograms consisting of both of these consonants (L & R) followed by vowels. But I stress, to us, we cannot be sure how they pronounced L & R, or to what extent they had by then become phonetically separate. Looking at the Linear C Syllabary, you can see the distinction right away. See above.

Now some of you may already be aware of the “fact” that to our ears in the West, the Japanese seem utterly incapable of pronouncing either L or R, but appear to be pronouncing something half-way between the two, which sounds like mumble-jumbo to our ears. Since the Linear B syllabary has no L + vowel series of syllabograms, the Mycenaeans too might have conflated L and R into one consonant in a manner similar to the way the Japanese pronounce it, at least in the early days of the Mycenaean dialect (possibly from 1450-1300 BCE). On the other hand, since the Arcadians and the Cypriots had apparently already made the distinction between L & R from as early as 1100 BCE, their immediate forebears, the Mycenaeans, might have already been well on the road to being able to pronounce L & R distinctly as consonants by 1300-1200 BCE, although they still may have been confusing them from time to time. However, they probably could see no point in adding an L + vowel series such as we see in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, given that they had already used the Linear B syllabary for at least 2 and half centuries (ca 1450 – 1200 BCE). I am inclined to accept this hypothesis of the gradual emergence of L & R towards the end of Linear B's usage ca. 1200 BCE, in preference to a hypothetical Japanese-like pronunciation based on the assumption that the L+R concatenation is a merging of L & R as semi-consonants. Still, either scenario is perfectly plausible.

Allophone English speakers invariably find the pronunciation of L & R in almost all other Occidental languages (French, Spanish, Italian etc.) much too “hard” to their ears. This is because the letters L & R in English alone are alveolars, mere semi-consonants or semi-vowels, depending on your perspective as an English speaker, which is in turn conditioned by the dialect you speak. There are some English dialects in which the letter R is still pronounced as a trilled consonant, but for the most part, allophone English speakers pronounce both L and R very softly – at least to the ears of allophones from other European nations. Practically all other modern European languages trill the letter R, making it a consonant in their languages. But not English. This is due to the “Great Vowel Shift” which occurred in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in English, whereby the earlier trilled R was abandoned in favour of the much softer semi-consonant or semi-consonant R we now use in English. For this reason and others besides, English alone of the Germanic languages is not guttural at all. At the same time, L, which had previously been pronounced just as in other European languages, became a semi-consonant.

You can put this to the test by pronouncing either letter aloud, paying close attention to where you touch the interior of your mouth with your tongue. Your tongue will instantly feel that the semi-consonant L scarcely makes any contact with any firm area of the mouth, but is pronounced almost the same way the vowels are – almost, but not quite. On the other hand, R, which is a true semi-vowel, at least in Canadian and American English, does not make any contact with any firm part of the mouth, in other words, it is pronounced just as the vowels are – no contact. So it really is a vowel. But English scholars and linguists in the sixteenth century could see no point in changing R to a vowel, any more than the Mycenaeans could be bothered with a new series of syllabograms beginning with L.      

But it matters little, if at all, whether or not we pronounce L & R as semi-consonants or semi-vowels, as in English, or as separate consonants as in the other European languages, since we all pronounce them as distinct letters. This ingrained linguistic bias greatly colours our perceptions of how others pronounce the “same” letters, if indeed they are the same at all. So it all boils down to just one thing: it all depends on your socio-culturally conditioned perspective as a speaker of our own language.

This state of affairs leaves me forced to draw the inescapable conclusion that to the Japanese it is we who have made a mess of things by separating the pronunciation of L & R, which sound identical to their ears, in other words as one consonant (which is neither a semi-consonant nor a semi-vowel). To assist you in putting this into perspective, consider the Scottish pronunciation of the letter R, which is also clearly a consonant, and is in fact the pronunciation of R before the Great Vowel Shift in Middle English. This is not to say that the Scottish pronounce their consonant R anywhere near the way the Japanese pronounce their single consonant, to our ears an apparent conflation of our two semi-consonants L & R.    

Again, the whole thing comes down to a matter of linguistic bias based on the socio-cultural conditions of two very distinct meta-cultures, Occidental and Oriental. In that context, the languages in their meta-classes (Occidental versus Oriental) are symbolic of two entirely different perspectives on the world. Need I say more?

In conclusion, it is extremely unwise to draw conclusions for phonetic distinctions between the socio-culturally “perceived” pronunciation of any consonant or any vowel whatsoever from one language to another, especially in those instances where one of the languages involved is Occidental and the other is Oriental. The key word here is “perceived”. It is all a question of auditory perception, and that is always conditioned by the linguistic norms of the society in which you live.

This still leaves us up in the air, so to speak. How can we be sure that the Mycenaean Greeks apparently could not pronounce their Ls “properly” (to be taken with a grain of salt). We cannot. Since we were not there at the time, our own linguistic, socio-cultural biases figure largely in our perception of what the so-called “proper” pronunciation was. If we mean by proper, proper to themselves, that is an altogether different matter. But what is proper to us was almost certainly not proper to them, of that we can pretty much rest assured. The same situation applies to every last ancient Greek dialect. What was proper pronunciation and orthography to the Dorian dialect most certainly was not for the Arcado-Cypriot dialect any more than it was for Attic Greek. To be perfectly blunt, we cannot ever be quite sure how anyone in ancient Greek pronounced their own dialect of the language, again because we weren't there.


When SETI showed us this amazing photo from space, I could not resist defining it in ancient Greek & Linear B + this fractal, also in French!

Image shown to us by SETI on Twitter:


What it means in ancient Greek and in Mycenaean Linear B:

What can you see (or not) in the image they posted?

Oh and what about this? What is it a fractal of?

string theory
If you can read Greek, Mycenaean Linear B or French, you will know; otherwise you will have to guess.

Let me know what you think it means & I will tell you if you are right. 


My Twitter account completely updated, new header new photo, and new, wider perspectives: Click to Visit:

Twitter Richard Vallance
I have just updated and completely revised not only the appearance but the contents of my Twitter account, to reflect my widely expanding interests as related, either directly or indirectly, to Mycenaean Linear B, Minoan Linear A, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, ancient Greek etc. etc. I have posted a new header, which you see above, incorporating the Linear B word for Knossos, and part of the stunning dolphins fresco in the Queen’s Megaron at Knossos, which you can see here: Click to ENLARGE

As it now stands, in its short lifetime of less than two years, our Linear B (A & C) blog has become one of the primary Linear B resources on the entire Internet, with visits already running into the tens of thousands (an astounding figure for something as bizarre and esoteric as Linear B!). Soon approaching 40K, we expect at least 60K hits by our second anniversary, if not more.  The reasons for this are obvious to anyone with even a passing interest in Linear B (A &C). Nothing is off-limits on our blog. Neither Rita Roberts, my research colleague, nor I, take anything for granted. We are both “doubting Thomases” to the core, casting doubt not only on translations of Linear B tablets by other Linear B researchers, but on one anothers as well, given that neither of us is in the least impervious to committing errors, sometimes egregious. Such errors must be drawn to our attention, come what may. If you are an expert in Linear B decipherment, and you do not like any translation either of us has made, feel free to give us a shout.

The other principal concerns and issues our blog frequently focuses on are:
1. keeping the Linear B syllabary right up to date. The syllabary chart most commonly used on the Internet is way out-of-date, and must be replaced by this one: Click to ENLARGE

Linear B Syllabary Completely Revised 2014
2. the introduction of the completely new theory of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, of which there are at least 30 from the store of 61 syllabograms. We have plenty of posts on our theory on our blog.  Rita Roberts and I shall be publishing a major research article on supersyllabograms sometime in 2015 or 2016. If tenable, it should prove to be a revolutionary step forward in the decipherment of the remaining 10% or so of the Linear B syllabary, its homophones, logograms and ideograms as yet undeciphered over the past 62 years since Michael Ventris successfully and amazingly deciphered the other 90%. Our research will be widely available in PDF format on the Internet, and although copyrighted, will be free for use by any Linear B aficionados.  Here is an example of just a few supersyllabograms, all dealing with sheep, rams & ewes, the primary concern of Linear B scribes by a long shot: Click to ENLARGE

Linear B Supersyllabograms Chart for sheep rams and ewes
3. Progressive Linear B Vocabulary and Grammar, another all-new approach to the study of Linear B, whereby I intend to re-construct as much of the lost grammar of Mycenaean Greek as I possibly can. I have already completely mapped the active voice of both Thematic and Athematic verbs in Mycenaean Greek. Nouns, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions with cases are to follow in 2015. To view all posts on this topic, visit our PINTEREST Board, Mycenaean Linear B Grammar and Vocabulary:

Mycenaean Linear B PINTEREST 
4. Rita Roberts and I shall be constructing an all new English-Linear B Lexicon sometimes between 2016 & 2018, which will be vastly superior to the currently available Mycenaean (Linear B) – ENGLISH Glossary on the Internet, of which the less said the better, as it is riddled with at least 100 errors! I strongly dis-advise anyone using it. If you must use a Mycenaean dictionary, be sure to avail yourselves of Chris Tselentsis’ far superior Linear B Lexicon.

5. the all new field of the feasibility of the possible application of the Linear syllabaries, especially B & C but also, to a lesser extent, Linear A, to the emerging field of extraterrestrial communication, by which I mean serious research as undertaken by NASA: Click to read the entire PDF

and other space administration, research facilities and professional online sites, and not crackpot nonsense such as UFOs, alien abductions and the like. Here are a few comic strips just to make it clear exactly what I think of extraterrestrial crackpots: Click to ENLARGE

Universe makes a lot of people angry and Dakeks
followed by this famous quotation by Werner Karl Heisenburg: Click to read the Wikipedia article on him: 

Heisenburg universe stranger
These are just the 5 major ventures we are undertaking on our blog, but we do not shy away from anything whatsoever which advances our knowledge of Linear B in general and in particular.

My Twitter account has expanded its scope to include not only my primary pursuits, research into Linear A, B & C and ancient Greek, especially the archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships in book II of Homer’s Iliad, which I am in the process of translating in its entirety, as you can see here: Click to ENLARGE


but also the following areas of great interest to me:

1. posting of major research articles, not only in English, but in French and Italian as well, the latter two of which I shall translate into English whenever I deem it necessary for our blog readers;     
2. ancient Greek vocabulary, but exclusively in the East Greek dialects, Mycenaean Greek, Arcado-Cypriot, Aeolian, Ionic and Attic;
3. Decipherment of ancient languages in general, insofar as these related, either directly or indirectly, to Linear syllabaries;
4. Cryptology, such as the Bletchley Circle project in World War Two, and the key rôle the brilliant genius, Alan Turing, the equal of Michael Ventris in intellect, played in the decipherment of the Enigma Code, especially as this astounding achievement relates to...
5. thorough investigation and in-depth analysis of the possible suitability of of syllabic scripts such as Linear A, B & C into extraterrestrial communication (NOT UFO’s, which are crackpot nonsense suitable only to... I will not fill in the blanks!);
6. astronomy, Mars, exoplanets etc. (not reflected on this blog, of course, except insofar as it may possibly relate to Linear syllabaries),  linguistics in general, including translation from one language to another, especially between English & French, in which as a Canadian I am fluent, Latin & Greek and Italian, which I read very well & Spanish, fairly well. I have forgotten my Russian, which I learned 50 years ago, but I can still read the Cyrillic alphabet with no difficulty. Linguistics and translation posts on this blog must in some way be related to Linear syllabaries, but not on my Twitter account, where anything important about linguistics in general is just fine with me.


NASA: Linear B and Extraterrestrial Communication: article in French by Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais of Laval University, Quebec

Linear B and Extraterrestrial Communication: E-mail in English I sent to Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais (Laval University) informing him that I will eventually translate his article into English: Archéologie, anthropologie et communication interstellaire 2 : Au-delà de Linéaire B - Le défi de la communication métasémiotique avec une intelligence Extraterrestre

Richard Saint-Gelais, I congratulate you on your extraordinary perspective in French on the possibility of the application, however provisional, of the Mycenaean Linear B syllabary to extraterrestrial communication.

Click on this banner to read the full research article in French by Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais:


When I came upon the English translation of your translation of your article, somewhat abridged, in PDF format, I read it with great interest (See below).
As far as I can tell, your perspective is clearly unique and, in my opinion, quite the mind-boggling revelation on the prospects for the practical application of human scripts by nature essentially geometric to extraterrestrial communication. In fact, your research study, which takes an approach heretofore unheard of to this topic, fascinates me to no end, especially in light of my own in-depth research into any and all aspects of these syllabaries: Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C. If you care to visit my blog, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae, one of the key sites Linear B on the Internet, you can see for yourself that, taken in their own proper context, our theories, hypotheses and the practical applications of them play a key role in our numerous scrupulous translations of Linear B tablets, each and every one of which in turn significantly contributes to the timely dissemination of the most up-to-date academic research of the highest order into Linear B above all else, but also into the other two scripts referenced above. In addition, I just now sent you an e-mail of paramount importance, whereby I have let you in on my own primary concerns dealing with this very subject, revolutionary as it is likely to prove. It is my sincere hope that you will quite soon be open to further, more in-depth, discussion with me, with our mutual research interests in mind. Meanwhile, I must truly congratulate you. Yours, Richard Vallance Janke, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 
Or if you are allophone English, you can read the shorter, less detailed and less informative version of the original French article from NASA in PDF format here:


ORIGINAL E-MAIL in French / premier courriel en français :   
Je vous félicite, Richard Saint-Gelais, pour votre excellente perspective sur les possibilités d’application provisoire du syllabaire Linéaire B du Grec mycénéain à la communication exraterrestre, dont j’ai lu le texte intégral raccourci en anglais en format PDF ici:

Cette perspective est évidemment unique et, à mon avis, tout à fait époustouflante quant à la mise en pratique potentielle des écritures humaines de nature géometrique à la communication extraterrestre. En effet, votre étude de recherche sur une telle approche jusqu’ici inouïe me fascine énormément, surtout à la lumière de mes propres recherches approfondies sur tous les aspects des syllabaires, le Linéaire A minoen, le Linéaire B mycénéain et le Linéaire C arcade-chypriote.  Si vous consultez mon blog, Linear B, Knossos and Mycenae, l’un des sites les plus importants en ligne sur le Linéaire B, vous verrez que le contexte de nos théories, de nos hypothèses, de la mise en oeuvre pratique de celles-là, ainsi que nos traductions considérables servent toutes et chacune à la dissémination la plus actualisée de la recherche dans le domaine des études académiques de première ordre sur le Linéaire B avant tout, mais également sur les  deux autres écritures mentionnées ci-dessus.  De plus, je viens de vous envoyer un courriel important qui vous communique mes propre préoccupations les plus significatives portant sur ce sujet révolutionnaire, tout en espérant que vous et moi, nous serons prêts à communiquer réciproquement à base plus profonde dans le prochain avenir. Entretemps, je vous salue sincèrement. Bien à vous. Richard Vallance Janke, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.   

1. Since this original article in French is significantly more comprehensive than the English article authored by Richard Saint-Gelais at NASA (see above), I shall eventually be translating the full text of this seminal article on the feasibility of syllabaries such as Linear B for extraterrestrial communication. This translation is bound to prove difficult, even for someone such as myself who, as a Canadian, is fluently bilingual English-French. So do not expect my translation online anytime soon. It is most likely to appear sometime in the winter of 2015.
2. For our francophone and bilingual English-French readers. You can read the full text of Richard Saint-Gelais’ original research article in French, which preceded his PDF study at NASA (link above) here:
Archéologie, Anthropologie et Communication Interstellaire 2 :
Voici quelques illustrations tirées de son article (A Few Illustrations from his article): Cliquer pour élargir : Click to ENLARGE
illustrations Richard Saint-Gelais extraterrestrial communication
Excerpts in French from his article: Au-delà de Linéaire B - Le défi de la communication métasémiotique avec une intelligence Extraterrestre Par Richard Saint-Gelais - Chapitre 5 Perspectives sémiotiques sur SETI
La Communication, comme nous le savons tous, est une entreprise délicate entre les êtres humains. Donc, il y a des raisons de douter que ce serait une chose facile à travers l'univers. Dans cet essai, je vais essayer de décrire un ensemble de problèmes théoriques qui pourraient affecter la communication avec des intelligences extraterrestres... passim ...  Je dois dire d'emblée que ma position est similaire au scepticisme épistémique que je viens de mentionner. Mais mon point de vue sera légèrement différent de ça, mais pas incompatible avec la perspective épistémique. Je vais appliquer les théories et les méthodes d'analyses sémiotiques au problème de la communication interstellaire, en mettant l'accent sur les signes, le langage, le sens et l'interprétation... passim...

Les conséquences que ces considérations ont pour la communication interstellaire sont tout à fait évidentes. Cette communication, si elle est couronnée de succès, doit surmonter les difficultés inhérentes à un échange où l'expéditeur et le destinataire ne partagent pas un langage commun; ce dernier ne peut se prévaloir d'une compétence linguistique déjà établies avec laquelle travailler sur le sens du message, mais doit plutôt commencer avec le message lui-même et essayer d'en déduire, par conjecture, les règles lexicales et syntaxiques qui lui confèrent une signification. Du point de vue de l'expéditeur, le défi est de concevoir un message qui comprendra, en quelque sorte, le contexte d'interprétation nécessaires pour lui donner un sens. En d'autres termes, l'expéditeur doit, apparemment, produire ce paradoxe sémiotique: un message d'auto-interprétation... passim ...

Décrypter d'Ancient Scripts La question, bien sûr, est : dans quelle mesure est-ce possible ? Une comparaison avec l'inverse, une situation de non coopération - le déchiffrement de messages codés ou d'inscriptions écrites en langues éteintes - peuvent apporter un regard neuf sur les problèmes invoqués.
.. passim ...

Sur le plan sémiotique, la similitude entre les trois types de situations est évidente. Décrypter des inscriptions dans des langues inconnues ou des messages en codes secrets implique à faire face à des chaînes de signes, sans avoir aucune connaissance préalable des règles de codage, de sorte que la reconnaissance de ces règles devient l'une des finalités (à la place des moyens, comme c'est généralement le cas) du processus de l'interprétation. Le déchiffreur des langues inconnues tente d'établir la valeur phonétique et / ou sémantique des symboles. Le décrypteur de messages secrets cherche à identifier le principe régissant le remplacement et / ou la permutation de lettres. Donc, les deux activités peuvent être comparées à la réception d'un message interstellaire et pour tenter d'interpréter sans avoir une idée préalable des règles de codage, le cas échéant, concernant la production des signaux... passim ...

Prenons, par exemple, les types de systèmes d'écriture que les cultures humaines ont développé. Il est possible de déterminer, à partir du nombre de caractères différents que possède une langue, le type de système d'écriture qu'il soutient. S'il n'y a que entre 20 et 40 caractères, c'est un système alphabétique; si il y a environ 100 caractères, nous avons un système syllabique dans lequel chaque symbole traduit une syllabe (par exemple, ta, te, ti, à). l'appareil phonologique des êtres extraterrestres peut être tout à fait différent du nôtre; leurs langues peuvent avoir des unités plus ou moins phonétiques par rapport aux nôtres ou peuvent reposer sur une base physiologique sans rapport avec son articulation... passim ...

Le plus célèbre d'entre eux est le cas du linéaire B, un système d'écriture trouvé sur des tablettes d'argile sur l'île de Crète, déchiffré par Michael Ventris dans les années 1950, sur la base d'un important travail visionnaire que Alice Kober avait fait avant lui. Ventris a utilisé une méthode purement formelle, regroupant ensemble les mots ayant le même début et puis d'en déduire, ou plutôt enlever, à quelles variations grammaticales les différentes terminaisons correspondaient (par exemple, le sexe, le chiffre, etc.). Finalement, il a produit une grille sur laquelle la valeur phonétique de chaque signe a été enregistré. Cette grille a conduit à la découverte inattendue de Ventris, que les symboles linéaire B traduisaient une forme très ancienne de Grec. Cette conclusion de l'histoire sape un promettant abord sur une comparaison entre les écritures anciennes et une communication extraterrestre. Ventris ne savait pas à l'avance quelle langue était «derrière» le linéaire B, mais bien sûr, il ne pouvait le reconnaître, car il était différent du grec classique, quand il le "perçu", il l'a dit lorsque suffisamment de preuves ont été accumulées pour révéler le lien. Nous ne pouvons pas, bien sûr, s'attendre à une telle reconnaissance à travers des distances inter-stellaires... passim ...

Cette discussion sur les symboles, les icônes et les indices ne conduit pas inévitablement à la conclusion que les messages interstellaires doivent inclure uniquement des types de signes plus faciles à interpréter. Nous devons nous rappeler que le message ne se compose pas d'un signe isolé, mais de (parfois complexes) combinaisons de signes, qui peuvent contribuer à leur élucidation réciproque... passim...  Ce qui peut aider de façon décisive ce destinataire final est l'interprétation mutuelle que des parties du message proviennent d'un autre (mais une interprétation qui doit encore être sous-entendue, c'est-à-dire interprétée comme telle) et le jeu systématique de la répétition et de la variation entre les images, qui donnera aux destinataires la possibilité de faire des conjectures et enlèvements, que les images suivantes peuvent confirmer ou infirmer, dans ce dernier cas en appuyant pour que les bénéficiaires lecteurs révisent leurs hypothèses précédentes... passim ...

Linéaire B et autres Dans son livre sur les langues éteintes, Johannes Friedrich souligne que la direction dans laquelle un script doit être lu peut parfois être déduite de l'espace vide à la fin de la dernière ligne d'une inscription. Ici nous avons un indice, un signe causé par son objet : la direction de la rédaction est concrètement responsable de quel côté la dernière ligne est vide. Mais ce n'est pas un signe très remarquable qu'il ne nécessite pas un raisonnement abductif (d'enlèvement). Aussi étrange que cela puisse paraître, je vois dans ce petit exemple des raisons d'espérer en ce qui concerne la communication interstellaire. Nous avons tendance à conceptualiser la communication avec des intelligences extraterrestres en termes de transmission réussie dans le sens voulu. Mais la production et la réception de signes ne peuvent pas être limités à un plan intentionnel. Une caractéristique importante de la plupart des indices est leur nature involontaire. Cela s'applique non seulement en des signes naturels, tels que la fumée, mais aussi dans les productions conscientes des signes, qui comprennent toujours un aspect indiciel provenant d'ailleurs de ce que l'expéditeur a voulu dire. Le touriste est confronté à une anomalie, comme nous l'avons vu, qui peut le mener à conclure à tort que c'est une erreur; mais cette hypothèse devient de moins en moins plausible lorsqu'il ou elle rencontre plus d'anomalies.

Pour moi, la répétition devient un indice de la nature régulière de ce signe, même si cette indication n'a jamais traversé l'esprit des auteurs des textes. Cet exemple montre une fois de plus le rôle central de l'interprétation. L'insistance de Peirce sur le rôle de l'interprétant implique qu'un signe, dès qu'il est reconnu comme tel (ce qui est déjà le résultat d'une interprétation), est soumis à un processus d'interprétations sans fin et souvent inattendues. Ce sera certainement le cas si, par hasard, nos signaux sont reçus par des êtres intelligents, quelles que soient leur physiologie ou leur culture. Nous pouvons compter, jusqu'à un certain point, sur l'ingéniosité des bénéficiaires. Bien qu'ils ne peuvent pas comprendre les choses particulières que nous voulons communiquer, ils peuvent au moins reconnaître et interpréter, peut-être même de manière fructueuse, certains indices laissés tout à fait involontairement. Le scribe sumérien qui a laissé une partie de la ligne vide ne pouvait pas imaginer qu'il quittait un signe qui serait lu et utilisé plusieurs siècles plus tard par un archéologue. La situation de SETI n'est pas vraiment très différente. De l'expérience des décrypteurs de langues éteintes, il semble que l'envoi du plus grand nombre et de différents messages que possible est la meilleure stratégie, celle qui offre le plus de chance au destinataire. Le contenu de nos messages peut être beaucoup moins important que le nombre et la variété des messages que nous envoyons, mais seulement parce qu'ils donneront aux bénéficiaires plus de possibilités de comparer et tester leurs enlèvements sur les messages passés contre de nouveaux exemples. En l'absence de commentaires, c'est peut-être le meilleur plan d'action pour une élaboration de nos "messages dans une bouteille interstellaire."

par Richard Saint-Gelais,Université Laval, Québec, Québec

In Memoriam Aeternam Corporal Nathan Cirillo, shot to death 9:52 a.m., Oct. 22 2014 (in Linear B, ancient Greek, Latin, French & English): Click to ENLARGE:

in memoriam Corporal Nathan Cirillo
Yesterday, at 9:52 a.m. a crazed madman stylizing himself as a “jihadist”, a despicable word if ever there was, fired two rounds from a high powered rifle into the back of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Memorial in our lovely city, Ottawa, the Capital of Canada. The killer then drove in a stolen car straight over to the House of Commons, rushed through the front doors of Parliament, and fired at least 30 shots in the main corridor leading to the Library of Parliament, before being shot to death by the Sargent at Arms, Kevin Vickers. Fortunately, the Members of Parliament were all in caucus at that time. Had the shooter arrived only an hour later, when the corridors were full of M.P.s and other people, the death toll would have been horrendous, in this, the first terrorist attack ever directly on the seat of government in any nation.

The shock waves that ran through Canada and all around the world were instantaneous and horrifying. As a devout Canadian, I was so stunned, and then enraged yesterday that even today I cannot get over this brutal act of violence. Shame on radical Muslims, shame on Daesh! You are the very antithesis of civilized people; you are barbaric monsters. We will never forget what you have done to our peaceful nation, and you shall never live this down, so help us God.

Please note that I tweeted this eulogy to all of the TV networks above.


The Homophone HA, used less often than AI, but equally significant: Click to ENLARGE:

HA homophone series Linear B 

This makes for entertaining reading, though possibly somewhat perplexing to some.
Let no-one be under any illusion that the Linear B homophone HA is any less significant than AI, regardless of the fact that it appears less often in Linear B texts on extant tablets. The homophone HA is not a diphthong! This homophone (HA) takes an enormous leap forward, specifically and exclusively in the Linear B syllabary, by explicitly expressing initial or even internal aspirated A’s. This incredible achievement eclipsed even the ancient Greek alphabet, which, need I remind you, was always written in CAPS (uppercase) alone, and hence, was utterly incapable of expressing any aspirated, let alone, unaspîrated vowels.

"What” I hear you indignantly explain, "Of course, they had aspirated and unaspirated vowels.” Yes, they did. But they never expressed them. Search any ancient alphabetical text in any dialect whatsoever for aspirated or unaspirated vowels, and you search in vain. Search Linear B, and voilà, staring us squarely in the face, is the aspirated A. Astonishing? Perhaps... perhaps not. But what this tells us unequivocally is that the ancient Greeks, even after the appearance of the alphabet, must have pronounced aspirated and unaspirated vowels, because in Mycenaean Greek, the aspirated A is squarely in the syllabary.
"But”, I hear you exclaim again, "If those Mycenaeans were so smart, why didn’t they also have a homophone for the aspirated E, which pops up all over the place in Medieval manuscripts in Classical Greek?”  The answer is that Mycenaean Greek almost certainly had no use for the aspirated E, since all classical Greek words beginning with an aspirated E invariably begin with an aspirated A in Mycenaean Greek, as for instance, Mycenaean "hateros” versus classical Greek "heteros” (well, in most dialects, if not all). In other words, Mycenaean Greek grammar has no homophone for aspirated E, simply because they never used it, nor were they even aware of its existence. 

Still, the fact remains that, at least where the aspirated A is concerned, Linear B was one step ahead of ancient alphabetical Greek. Both aspirated and unaspirated initial consonants were a feature introduced into written classical Greek alphabet only in the Middle Ages, when monks & other scribes began making extensive use of lower case letters. And, sure enough, along with the aspiration and non-aspiration of initial vowels (most often A, E & U), they also introduced all those other crazy accents we all must now memorize: the acute, grave, circumflex and susbscripted iota, just to make reading ancient Greek wretchedly more complicated. Don’t you wish they had left well enough alone? I often do. But this was not to be, since from the Middle Ages, and especially from the Renaissance on, almost all Occidental languages (Greek & French being two of the worst offenders) used accents liberally. Apparently only the Romans never bothered with accents ... but even here we cannot be sure, as they too wrote only in CAPS (uppercase).  Even English, which is the Western language most adverse to accents, always uses them in borrowed words from French, Italian, Spanish etc.  So you just can’t win.
Once again, amongst the ancient languages, at least as far as I know, Linear B alone was able to explicitly express the initial aspirated A, just as Linear B had the common sense to separate every word on the tablets from the next with a vertical line (|). After that, "something got lost in translation” (so to speak), and for at least 2 millennia, when all of a sudden everyone in the whole world went bonkers for accents.

Such are the vagaries of linguistics.


Haiku in Linear B, Homeric Greek, English & French

Haiku in Linear B, Homeric Greek, English & French
Haïku en Linéaire B, Grec homérique, en anglais et en français

Click to ENLARGE:

seaside wheat

* In the second version below the haiku in Linear B, the Linear B syllabograms and vowels are given in their Latin equivalents, so that you can get some idea of the pronunciation of the Mycenaean Greek (ca. 1300-1200 BCE). 

** The Greek version of this haiku is composed in very ancient Greek (ca. 800 BCE), matching the Greek of “The Catalogue of Ships” in Book II of the Iliad as closely as possible.


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