Linear B syllabary with correspondances to the ancient Greek alphabet including digamma:
This table of the Linear B syllabary with correspondances to the ancient Greek alphabet including digamma outlines how each series of syllabograms, e.g. A E I O U, DA DE DI DO DU, KA KE KI KO KU, MA ME MI MO MU, TA TE TI TO TU etc. corresponds with the ancient Greek letter series, including the archaic Greek letter digamma, very common in Mycenaean Greek but absent from Classical Greek which are common to them. In some cases, the first consonant of the syllabogram series exactly matches the consonant + vowels of the Greek letters to which that series corresponds. These are:
DA DE DI DO DU = da de dei dh di dh do dw du
MA ME MI MO MU = ma me mei mh mi mh mo mw mu
NA NE NI NO NU = na ne nei nh ni nh no nw nu
SA SE SI SO SU = sa se sei sh si sh so sw su
But there is one significant problem. The Linear B syllabary cannot distinguish between short and long Greek vowels, or Greek double-vowel combinations. Thus,
DE DI DO = de dei dh di dh do dw
ME MI MO = me mei mh mi mh mo mw
NE NI NO = ne nei nh ni nh no nw
SE SI SO = se sei sh si sh so sw
must account for 2 or 3 vowel variations in the ancient Greek alphabet, as seen above. For example, as seen in the D series of syllabograms above, DE = any of 3 = de dei dh DI for either di dh & DO for either do dw. The list of syllabogram series and their Greek alphabetic equivalents above provides several examples of these vowel variations.
Syllabogram series representing multiple consonants + vowels:
Syllabogram series representing multiple consonants + vowels are more complex. These are:
KA KE KI KO KU corresponding to:
ga ge gei gh gi gh go gw gu
ka ke kei kh ki kh ko kw ku
xa xe xei xh xi xh xo xw xu
PA PE PI PO PU corresponding to:
pa pe pei ph pi ph po pw pu
fa fe fei fh fi fh fo fw fu
ya ye yei yh yi yh yo yw yu
QA QE QI QO corresponding to:
ba be bei bh bi bh bo bw bu
ga ge gei gh gi gh go gw gu
RA RE RI RO RU corresponding to:
la le lei lh li lh lo lw lu
ra re rei rh ri rh ro rw ru
TA TE TI TO TU corresponding to:
ta te tei th ti th to tw tu
qa qe qei qh qi qh qo qw qu
Plenty of examples of all of the consonant + vowel variations explained in all instances above are found in the table, following the table of syllabogram series, at the top of this post.
CONVENTIONS in Linear A and ancient Greek orthography:
Linear B is also unable to account for the presence of consonants in the ancient Greek alphabet, especially in the case of final or ultimate consonants, which are extremely common in ancient Greek, and de rigueur in masculine and neuter nouns and adjectives, and in the conjugations of several persons, singular and plural, in all cases of ancient Greek verbs (present, future, imperfect, aorist, perfect and pluperfect in all moods, indicative, optative and subjunctive). But only the present and aorist (CHECK) in the indicative and the present in the optative occur in Linear B.
I shall be posting the Greek equivalents to Linear B nouns, adjectives and verbs in an upcoming post.
You must be logged in to post a comment.