Restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) REVISED: Since the last post on my original restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros), I have reconsidered the hypothetical text, and I have come up with this more plausible restoration: The running decipherment reads as follows: 1. a field 2. of 20 bales of einkorn wheat 3. and 20 bales of emmer wheat 4. and 65 bales of barley 5. all measured by bales 6. 4 bales of MI ?? ZA (unknown) + 1 bale with wheat 7. and 12 bales of wheat with 2 spin-offs of chaff from the wheat 8. totals for all the above = 130 This restoration is the basis of an article on it soon to be published on academia.edu. I shall keep you posted.
Linear B tablet HT 93 (Haghia Triada). What happens when there are not enough Mycenaean-derived words to decipher a Linear A tablet:
While it is a relatively straightforward matter to decipher Linear A tablets which contain a substantial portion of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary, the situation rapidly deteriorates the fewer Myenaean-derived words there are on the tablet or inscription. In fact, there is a point of no return in all too many cases. This is not quite the situation we are faced with when confronted with Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada). But we are getting close to the precipice. There appear to be only 4 Mycenaean-derived words on this tablet, SERE = a corn silo, ASE = surfeit, OTI = with handles and KIRO, which seems to be a scribal error, since this word appears on the VERSO of the tablet with the large number 165 + fraction following it. So I suspect the scribe meant to inscribe KURO. As for the later archaic or classical Greek words to which these four words correspond, see the actual figure of the tablet above.
As for the remainder of the tablet, most of the vocabulary simply eludes us, with the exception of one word, DARIDA (HT 10, HT 85, HT 93 and HT 122), an old Minoan (OM) word, appearing in the Minoan substrate language, which definitely refers to some kind of vase. And if our interpretation of OTI is correct, then the vase is two-handled. The decipherment of OTI as two-handled is buttressed by the presence of the ideogram for a vase with two handles nearly adjacent to it. As for the rest of the tablet, with the exception of SARA2, which is ancient Semitic for barley or a similar grain crop, your guess is as good as mine. However, I suspect that QAQARU is another type of (large) vase, which in this case is used to store SARA2.
Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate:
Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate, because by means of supersyllabograms only, ie. QE + the ideogram for “wheat/barley῎, KI + the ideogram for “barley῎ and NI + the ideogram for “figs῎ ― and take special note of this! ― with NI incharged in a square, it conveys in the most condensed manner possible every possible interpretation of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary appearing on the tablet. There can be little or no doubt but that KI is the supersyllabogram for KIRETANA/KIRETA2 = “barley῎ kriqani/aj and that NI, and this is the clever little trick the scribe employs, represents fig trees in a field, since the supersyllabogram NI (for figs) is enclosed in a square, representing a field, in other words not just figs, but fig trees, are in a field.
Preliminary Roster of Editors, Aux Éditions Konoso Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Richard Vallance Janke, University of Western Ontario, Emeritus
Associate Editor-in-Chief, Université de Genève
Chief Associate Editor, University of Warsaw
Julia Binnberg, University of Oxford, Classical Archaeology
Nic Fields, University of Newcastle, England
Roman Koslenko, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
Xaris Koutelakis, Kapodistrian University of Athens
Philipp Schwinghammer, Universität Leipzig, Historisches Seminar
Olivier Simon, Université de Lorraine
Editors’ Credentials and Degrees, plus their academia.edu pages or home pages will appear in the Forward to each monograph published. Aux Éditions Konoso Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, will publish online monographs only, from 20-100 pages long, each with its own unique ISBN (International Standard Book Number). We shall be accepting our first submissions from the summer of 2018 onward. The first monograph will probably be published in early 2019. If you are interested in becoming an Associate Editor of our already prestigious board of editors, please contact Richard Vallance Janke at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Linear A Lexicon 2018 vocabulary only, no definitions: PART 3: entries 801-1166 This lexicon adopts the conventions followed by L.R. Palmer in his ground-breaking work on Linear B, The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, © 1963, 1998. ix, 488 pp. ISBN 0-19-813144-5 (1998). For Palmer’s glossary, which follows these conventions, see pp. 402-473. We have adopted these conventions to make the vocabulary of Linear A accessible to any and all, from lay persons not yet familiar with Linear A and non-linguists (somewhat) familiar with Linear B and/or A all the way to professional linguists adept in Linear B, and possibly also in Linear A, in order that everyone, regardless of education or scholastic background may readily access our Linear A Lexicon and come to familiarize him- or herself with at least the rudiments of Linear A, or in the case of professional linguists, with the intricacies of the syllabary. This Lexicon represents all of the vocabulary Alexandre Solça and I myself have compiled, plus around 100 additional exograms deciphered by Peter van Soebergen in his superb 4 volume set, Minoan Linear. Amsterdam, Brave New Books, © 2016. ISBN 9789402157574 Originally published 1987 801. rosa 802. rosasiro 803. rotau 804. roti 805. rotwei 806. rua 807. rudedi 808. ruiko 809. Rujamime 810. ruka/rukaa/ruki/rukike 811. Rukito 812. ruko 813. rukue 814. ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase 815. rupoka 816. ruqa/ruqaqa 817. rura2 (rurai) 818. rusa/rusi 819. rusaka 820. rutari 821. rutia 822. ruzuna 823. sadi 824. saja 825. sajama/sajamana 826. sajamadi 827. sajea 828. saka 829. samidae 830. samuku 831. sanitii 832. sapo/sapi 833. saqa 834. saqeri 835. sara2 (sarai)/sarara/saro/saru 836. saradi 837. sarara 838. sareju 839. saro/saroqe 840. saru/sarutu 841. sasaja 842. sasame 843. Sasara(me) 844. sasupu 845. sato/sata 846. sea/sei 847. sedina 848. sedire 849. seikama 850. Seimasusaa 851. seitau 852. Sejarapaja 853. Sejasinataki 854. Sekadidi 855. Sekatapi 856. sekidi 857. Sekiriteseja 858. sekutu 859. semake 860. semetu 861. senu 862. sepa 863. sere -or- rese 864. sesapa3 865. Sesasinunaa 866. sesi -or- sise 867. setamaru 868. Seterimuajaku 869. Setira 870. Setoija 871. sezami 872. sezanitao 873. sezaredu 874. sezatimitu 875. sia 876. side/sidi/sidare 877. sidate/sidatoi 878. sidija 879. sii/siida/siisi 880. siitau 881. sija 882. Sijanakarunau 883. sika 884. siketapi 885. sikine 886. Sikira/Sikirita 887. sima 888. simara 889. simeki 890. simita 891. sina 892. sinada 893. sinae 834. sinakanau 895. sinamiu 896. sinatakira 897. sinedui 898. sipiki 899. sipu3ka 900. sire/siro/siru/sirute 901. siriki 902. sireneti 903. sirumarita2 (sirumarita1) 904. sita2 (sitai) -or- ta2si (taisi) 905. sitetu 906. situ 907. situra2re 908. siwamaa 909. sodira 910. sokanipu 911. sokemase 912. sudaja 913. suja 914. sukinima 915. Sukirita/Sukiriteija 916. suniku 917. supu2ka 918. supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) 919. supi/supu/supu2 (supui) 920. sure 921. suria 922. suropa 923. sutu/sutunara 924. suu 925. suwaresu 926. suzu 923. taa 924. tadaki/tadati 925. tadeuka 926. taikama 927. Tainaro 928. tainuma 929. tainumapa 930. Ta2merakodisi (Taimerakodisi) 931. ta2re (raire) 932. ta2reki /ta2riki (aireki/tairiki) 933. Ta2rimarusi (Tairimarusi) 944. tai2si (taisi) 945. ta2tare 946. ta2tite 947. ta2u 948. tajusu 949. takaa/takari 950. taki/taku/takui 951. Tamaduda 952. Tanamaje 953. Tanarateutinu 954. tanate/tanati 955. Tanunikina 956. tamaru 957. tami/tamia/tamisi 958. tani/taniria/tanirizu 959. tanika 960. taniti 961. Tanunikina 962. tanurija 963. tanuwasa... 964. tapa 965. tapiida 966. tapiqe 967. tara/tare 968. tarasa 969. tarawita 970. tarejanai 971. tarikisu 972. tarina (tawena) 973. taritama 974. taro 975. tasa/tasaja 976. tasaza 977. tasise 978. tata/tati 979. tatapa3du (tatapaidu) 980. ta2tare (taitare) 981. ta2tite (taitite) 982. Tateikezare... (truncated) 983. tedasi/tedatiqa 984. tedekima 985. teepikia 986. teizatima 987. teja(i)/teija 988. teijo 989. tejare 990. tekare 991. teke/teki 992. tekidia 993. temada/temadai 994. temeku 995. temirerawi 996. tenamipi 997. tenata/tenataa 998. Tenatunapa3ku 999. tenekuka 1000. teneruda 1001. teniku 1002. tenita(ki) 1003. tenu/tenumi 1004. tepi 1005. tera/tere 1006. teraseda 1007. tereau 1008. tereza 1009. teri (tewe)/teridu 1010. terikama 1011. tero/teroa 1012. terota -or- rotate -or- tatero 1013. terusi 1014. tesi/tesiqe 1015. Tesudesekei 1016. tetita2 (tetitai) 1017. tetu 1018. Tewirumati 1019. Tidama 1020. tidata 1021. tidiate 1022. tiditeqati 1023. tiduni/tiduitii 1024. tiisako 1025. tija 1026. tika 1027. titiku 1028. tikiqa 1029. tikuja 1030. tikuneda 1031. timaruri/timaruwite 1032. timasa 1033. timi 1034. timunuta 1035. tina 1036. Tinakarunau 1037. tinata/tinita 1038. tinesekuda 1039. Tininaka 1040. tinu/tinuka/tinuja 1041. tinusekiqa 1042. tio 1043. tiqatediti 1044. tiqe/tiqeri/tiqeu 1045. tiraduja 1046. tira2 1047. tirakapa3 (tirakapai) 1048. tire 1049. tisa 1050. tiri 1051. tiriadidakitipaku 1052. tisiritua 1053. tisudapa 1054. tita 1055. titema 1056. titiku 1057. titima 1058. titisutisa 1059. tiu 1060. tiumaja 1061. tizanukaa 1062. toipa 1063. tome 1064. toraka 1065. toreqa 1066. toro 1067. totane 1068. tuda 1069. tui 1070. tujuma 1071. tukidija 1072. tukuse 1073. tuma/tumei/tumi 1074. tumitizase 1075. tunada 1076. tunapa 1077. tunapa3ku 1078. tunija
1080. tuqenu… (truncated)
1081. turunu 1082. Tupadida 1083. tuqe 1044. turaa 1085. turunuseme 1086. turusa 1087. tusi/tusu 1088. tusupu2 1089. tute/tutesi 1090. udami/udamia 1091. udeza 1092. udimi 1093. udiriki 1094. ukanasi... (truncated) 1095. ukare 1096. Ukareasesina 1097. uki 1098. uminase 1099. unaa 1019. unadi 1100. unakanasi 1101. unana 1102. unarukanasi/unarukanati 1103. upa 1104. uqeti 1105. urewi 1106. uro 1107. uso/usu 1108. uta/uta2 (utai) 1109. utaise 1110. utaro 1111. Utinu 1112. waduko 1113. waduna 1114. Wadunimi 1115. waja 1116. wanai 1117. wanaka 1118. waomi 1119. wapitinara2 1120. wapusua 1121. wara2qa (waraiqa)
1124. + wasukinima
1125. watepidu 1126. Watumare 1127. wazudu 1128. weruma/werumati 1129. wetujupitu 1130. widina 1131. widui 1132. widunimi 1133. wija 1134. Wijasumatiti 1135. winadu 1136. winipa 1137. winu 1138. winumatari 1139. wiraremite 1140. wireu 1141. wirudu 1142. wisasane 1143. witejamu 1144. witero 1145. zadeu 1146. adeujuraa 1147. zadua 1148. zakisenui 1149. zama/zame 1150. zanwaija 1151. zapa 1152. zare/zaredu 1153. zareki 1154. zaresea 1155. zasata 1156. zirinima 1157. zokupa 1158. zokutu 1159.zudi/zudira/zudu 1160. zukupi 1061. zuma 1062. zupaku 1163. zurinima 1164. zusiza 1165. zusu HT 1 1166. zute
Linear A Lexicon 2018 vocabulary only, no definitions: PART 2: entries 440-800 This lexicon adopts the conventions followed by L.R. Palmer in his ground-breaking work on Linear B, The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, © 1963, 1998. ix, 488 pp. ISBN 0-19-813144-5 (1998). For Palmer’s glossary, which follows these conventions, see pp. 402-473. We have adopted these conventions to make the vocabulary of Linear A accessible to any and all, from lay persons not yet familiar with Linear A and non-linguists (somewhat) familiar with Linear B and/or A all the way to professional linguists adept in Linear B, and possibly also in Linear A, in order that everyone, regardless of education or scholastic background may readily access our Linear A Lexicon and come to familiarize him- or herself with at least the rudiments of Linear A, or in the case of professional linguists, with the intricacies of the syllabary. This Lexicon represents all of the vocabulary Alexandre Solça and I myself have compiled, plus around 100 additional exograms deciphered by Peter van Soebergen in his superb 4 volume set, Minoan Linear. Amsterdam, Brave New Books, © 2016. ISBN 9789402157574 Originally published 1987 440. maa 441. madadu 442. madati 443. madi HT 3 444. mai/maimi 445. majutu 446. makai/makaise 447. makaita 448. makarite 449. mana/manapi 450. maniki 451. Manirizu 452. manuqa 453. maro/maru/maruku/maruri 454. masa/masaja 455. masi/masidu 456. Masuja 457. masuri 458. matapu 459. mateti 460. mati/matiti 461. matizaite 462. maza/mazu 463. medakidi 464. Mekidi 465. mesiki -or- sikime – or - kimesi 466. mepajai 467. mera 468. merasasaa/merasasaja 469. mesasa 470. Mesenurutu 471. meto 472. Meturaa 473. meza 474. mia 475. midai 476. midani 477. midamara2 (midamarai) 478. midara 479. midemidiu 480. mie 481. miima 482. Mijanika 483. mijuke 484. mikidua 485. mikisana/mikisena 486. minaminapii 487. minedu 488. mini 489. miniduwa 490. minumi 491. minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) 492. mio/miowa 493. mipa 494. mireja 495. miru 496. mirutarare 497. misimiri 498. misuma 499. mita 500. miturea 501. mizase 502. Mujatewi 503. muko 504. mupi 505. murito 506. muru HT 3 507. naa 508. nadare 509. nadi/nadiradi/nadiredi 510. nadiwi 511. nadu 512. Nadunapu2a 513. Naisizamikao 514. naka 515. nakiki 516. Nakininuta 517. nakuda 518. Namarasasaja 519. Namatiti 520. nami 521. namikua/namikuda 522. namine 523. nanau 524. nanipa3 525. napa3du 526. nara/naru 527. narepirea 528. naridi 529. narita 530. naroka 531. nasarea 532. nasekimi 533. nasi 534. nasisea 535. nataa/nataje 536. Natanidua 537. natareki 538. nati 539. nazuku/nazuru 540. nea 541. neakoa 542. nedia 543. nedira 544. neka/nekisi 545. nemaduka 546. Nemaruja 547. nemi -or- mine 548. Nemiduda 549. Nemusaa 550. Nenaarasaja 551. neqa 552. Neramaa 553. nerapa/nerapaa 554. nere 555. nesa/nesaki/nesakimi 556. Nesasawi 557. Nesekuda 558. neta 559. netapa 560. netuqe 561. nidapa 562. nidiki/nidiwa 563. niduti 564. nijanu 565. niku/nikutitii 566. nimi 567. nipa3 568. nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nitai) ) 569. niro/niru 570. nise/nisi 571. nisudu 572. nisupu 573. niti/nitinu 574. nizuka 575. nizuuka 576. nua 577. nude 579. nuduwa 580. nuki/nukisikija 581. numida/numideqe 582. nupa3ku 583. nupi 584. nuqetu 585. nuti/nutini 586. Nutiuteranata 587. nutu 588 nuwi 589. odami/odamia 590. okamiza 591. Okamizasiina 592. opi 593. ora2dine (oraidine) 594. osuqare 595. otanize 596. oteja 597. pa/paa 598. padaru 599. padasuti 600. pade 601. padupaa 602. pa3a/pa3ana 603. pa3da 604. pa3dipo 605. pa3e 606. pa3karati 607. pa3kija 608. pa3ku 609. pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi 610. pa3pa3ku 611. pa3qa 612. pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai 613. pa3roka 614. pa3sase 615. pa3waja 616. paiki... (truncated right) 617. Paito 618. paja/pajai 619. pajare 620. paka 621. paku 622. Pamanuita 623. para 624. parane 625. paroda 626. parosu 627. pasarija 628. pase 629. paseja 630. pasia 631. pasu 632. pata/patu 633. patada 634. patane 635. pataqe 636. pazaku 637. pia/pii 638. pija/pijani/pijawa 639. piku/pikui/pikuzu 640. pimata 641. pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) 642. pina/pini 643. pirueju 644. pisa 645. pita/pitaja 646. pitakase/pitakesi 647. pitara/pite(ri) 648. piteza 649. pitisa 650. piwaa 651. piwaja 652. piwi 653. posa 654. posi -or- sipo 655. potokuro 656. pu2juzu 657. pu2ra2 (pu2rai) 658. pu2reja 659. pu2su/pu2sutu 660. pu3pi 661. pu3tama 662. puko 663. punikaso 664. puqe 665. pura2 (purai) 666. pu2reja... (truncated) 667. pusa/pusi 668. pusuqe 669. putejare 670. Qara2wa 671. Qa2ra2wa 672. qajo 673. qaka 674. qakure 675. qanuma 676. qapa3 (qapai) 677. qapaja/qapajanai 678. qaqada 679. Qaqaru 680. qara2wa (qaraiwa) 681. qareto 682. qaqisenuti 683. qaro threshold 684. qasaraku 685. qatidate 686. qati/qatiju/qatiki 687. qedi 688. qedeminu 689. qeja 690. qeka 691. qekure 692. Qenamiku 693. qenupa 694. qepaka 695. qepita 696. qepu 697. qequre 698. qera2u/qera2wa/qera2ja HT 1 699. qeria/qeriu 700. qero 701. qerosa 702. qesidoe 703. qesite 704. qesizue 705. qesupu 706. qesusui 707. qeta2e (qetaie) 708. qeti 709. qetune/qitune 710. qisi 711. qoroqa 712. quqani 713. raa 714. rada/radaa/radakuku/radami 715. radarua 716. radasija 717. radizu 718. radu/rade 719. ra2ka (raika) 720. Ra2madami (raimadami) 721. ra2miki (raimiki) 722. ra2natipiwa (rainatipiwa) 723. ra2pu/ra2pu2 (raipu/raipu2) 724. ra2ri (rairi) 725. ra2rore 726. ra2ru 727. ra2saa 728. ra2ti (raiti) 729. Raja/Raju 730. raka/rakaa 731. ranatusu 732. rani 733. raodiki 734. rapa/rapu 735. rapu3ra 736. raqeda 737. rarasa 738. raride... (truncated right) 739. rarua 740. rasa/rasi 741. rasamii 742. rasasaa/rasasaja 743. rata/ratapi 744. ratada 745. ratise (ritise?) 746. razua 747. rea 748. reda/redana/redasi 749. Redamija 750. redise 751. reduja 752. reja/rejapa 753. rekau 754. rekotuku 755. reku/rekuqa/rekuqe 756. rema/rematuwa 757. remi 758. renara/renaraa 759. renute 760. repa 761. Repu2dudatapa 762. repu3du 763. reqasuo 764. reradu 765. Rera2tusi (Reraitusi) 766. Reratarumi 767. rerora2 (rerorai) 768. rese/resi/resu 769. retaa/retada 770. retaka 771. retata2 772. retema 773. reza 774. rezakeiteta 775. ria 776. ridu 777. rikata 778. rima 779. rimisi 780. ripaku 781. ripatu 782. riqesa 783. rira/riruma 784. rirumati 785. risa 786. Risaia3dai 787. Risumasuri 788. ritaje 789. rite/ritepi 791. ritoe 792. rodaa/rodaki 793. roe 794. roika 795. roke/roki/roku 796. romaku 797. romasa 798. ronadi 799. rore/roreka 800. rorota -or- taroro
New interpretation of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada):
A few months ago I posted my first interpretation of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada). Since then, I have made a few small tweaks. These are (a) the Linear A word kunisu, which is derived from Semitic kunissu, definitely means “emmer wheat”. (b) The supersyllabogram PA stands for Linear A pa3ni (paini) (noun)/pa3nina (painina) (adjective), which means either “millet” or “spelt”, since these two grain crops are the second most common grains cultivated everywhere in the Bronze age after kunisu “emmer wheat” and didero “einkorn wheat”. (c) the translation “offscourings/chaff” for ruma/rumata/rumatase (noun, adjective, noun in the instrumental plural) makes sense in context. (d) dare probably means “with a firebrand or torch”, since the tablet appears to deal with drought, when dead crops, i.e. grains in this case, are burnt. (e) Although tanati resembles the dative singular of the ancient Greek work qa/natoj, but this interpretation is doubtful.
The supersyllabogram WI in Linear A winu, winadu, winumatari
The supersyllabogram WI in Linear A means any of the following,winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado -or- winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj -or- winumatari NM1 #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth (agglutinative). The most likely interpretation is winu = wine, but the other two are not out of the question. This supersyllabogram appears on only one tablet, Khania KH 5 wi.
Introduction to supersyllabograms on Linear A tablets: PART A
Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B:
The phenomenon of the supersyllabogram in Mycenaean Linear B was first introduced to the world at at the Third Interdisciplinary Conference, Thinking Symbols, on July 1, 2015, at the Pultusk Academy of Humanities, here:
Prior to 2015, no researcher had ever identified supersyllabograms in Linear B. But what is a supersyllabogram? A supersyllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a particular major Mycenaean Linear B word paired with a particular ideogram in any of the major sectors of the Mycenaean economy, agricultural, military, textiles, vessels and pottery. Initially, in 2015, 34 supersyllabograms were identified in this talk, which is brief enough for you to glean a clear conception of what supersyllabograms entail.
By 2016, this number had risen to 36, 35 syllabograms and 1 homophone or logogram (AI), published in Archaeology and Science, Vol. 11 (2015), ISSN 1452-7448, pp. 73-108, published in 2016, here:
Here is the abstract of that article:
A supersyllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a major (never minor) economic indicator combined with a closely related ideogram in the four economic sectors of the Mycenaean economy, agricultural, military, textiles and vessels or pottery. With very few exceptions, change the economic sector and you change the meaning of any particular supersyllabogram. Of some 3,500 tablets and fragments from Knossos, about 800 or 23% contain at least one supersyllabogram and sometimes as many as four or five. The whole point of supersyllabograms is that they are meant to eliminate text on tablets to the greatest possible extent. In a syllabary of 61 syllabograms + one homophone (AI), 36 syllabograms or 59% are supersyllabograms. Supersyllabograms serve to greatly economize on the precious space available on the tiny inventory tablets in Linear B. Any complete decipherment of Linear B must fully account for the supersyllabogram as a unique phenomenon without which any approach to the interpretation of the Linear B syllabary is squarely compromised.
Supersyllabograms in Linear A:
As it turns out, supersyllabograms were not invented by the Mycenaeans, but by the Minoans. They first emerged in Linear A, not Linear B. In a syllabary of 54 syllabograms, 27 or 50 % are supersyllabograms. This compares favourably with the incidence of supersyllabograms in Linear B, in which 36 or 59 % of 61 syllabograms are supersyllabograms.
KEY to supersyllabograms in Linear A:
fi = figs
gr = grains (wheat)
ma = man, person
oo = olives, olive oil
pi = pigs
ra = rams
sh = sheep
te = textiles
ve = vessels
wi = wine & vinegar
Locales where Linear A tablets have been found:
HT = Haghia Triada
KH = Khania
MA = Malia
PE = Petras
PH = Phaistos
TH = Thera
TY = Tylissos
ZA = Zakros
The numeric value of each supersyllabograms is rated as follows:
BOLD: n. e.g. 21. TE = a supersyllabogram for which the definition is either certain or highly probable.
Italics: n. e.g. 1. A = a supersyllabogram for which the definition is possible.
Standard font: n. e.g. 2 = a supersyllabogram for which the definition is unlikely or questionable.
1. A aka = aska = a0ska = wine skin -or- apero PGS a1mpeloj = a vine Cf. Linear B apero -or- aresana NM1 a1leisana <- a1leison = an embossed cup (arch. acc.) = de/paj (Homeric) Cf. Linear B dipa/arisu NM1 a1leisu <- a1leison = embossed cup
HT 2 oo HT 39 ve KH 83 ve MA 10 ve
2. DA dadumata OM = harvesting? -or- grain(s) measured? -or- dadumina/dadumine OM= related to harvesting?
HT 133 gr
3. DI dipa3a (dipaia) PGS di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup -or- dipaja PGS di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup (alternate?)
HT 12 oo HT 14 oo (x2) HT 28 oo (x5) HT 50 oo HT 90 oo HT 116 oo HT 121 oo HT 129 oo
4. E etori NM1 e1tori <- e1toj = for a year?
HT 2 oo HT 21 oo HT 34 gr HT 50 oo HT 58 oo MA 10 (x3)
5. KA kadi MOSE NM1 kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine
HT 28 wi HT 88 ma HT 100 ma
6. KE ?
HT 26 ve (x2)
7. KI kitina NM1 ktoi/na/ktoina/siaj = border of a plot of land/territory Cf. Linear B kotona kotoina ktoi/na = plot of land?
HT 8 oo HT 9 wi HT 16 oo HT 28 oo HT 44 gr HT 50 oo (x2) HT 91 oo HT 101 oo (x2) HT 116 (x2) HT 125 oo HT 129 oo HT 140 oo? (x2) TY 3 (x3) ZA 18 oo
HT 38 te (x2) HT 61 gr HT 128 gr (x6) PH 31 sh (x7)
9. ME meza NM1 me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj?
TY 3 oo ZA 15 wi
10. MI ? HT 28 oo HT 50 oo HT 58 oo HT 90 oo HT 91 oo (x2) HT 100 oo HT 101 oo HT 116 oo (x2) HT 125 oo HT 137 oo TY 3 oo (x5)
11. NE nea NM1 ne/a = new Cf. Linear B ne/#a = new -or- nere OM = larger amphora size (fem. plural)
HT 23 oo HT 32 oo (x2) HT 100 oo
12. PA pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi OM = millet -or- spelt -or- pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai (+ ideogram for “wheat”) LIG = a kind of grain similar to wheat
HT 43 gr HT 93 gr (x2) HT 120 gr (x3) HT 125 oo HT 128 gr KH 27 gr PE 1 (x2) TY 3 oo ZA 6 gr (x3) ZA 11 (x5) ZA 18 gr ZA 28 gr
13. QE qera2u/qera2wa OM = a type of grain, probably millet or spelt (inflected) -or-
qeria OM = probably millet or spelt
HT 16 gr HT 28 gr HT 36 gr HT 99 gr HT 101 gr HT 121 oo ZA 11 gr
14. RA ranatusu (agglutinative?) -or- NM1 r9anatusu < – r9anti/zw = to cleanse, purify
rani NM1 r9a=ni/j = anything sprinkled (as in a libation); rain drop See also ratise -or- ratise (ritise?) NM1 = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
HT 44 oo KH 31 ve KH 91 ve ZA 6 wi (x2) ZA 15
15. RI rima NM1 lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts (dative/instrumental plural)
HT 23 oo HT 35 oo HT 60 oo KH 82 oo
16. RU ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase lu=matase <- lu=ma = offscourings from grain, i.e chaff?
KH 12 ve (x2) KH 63 ve KH 83 ve KH 84 ve KH 85 ve KH 91 ve
17. SA sato PGS Hebrew sa/ton = Hebrew unit of measurement?
HT 27 gr (x2) wi HT 144 wi HT 131 wi ZA 15 wi
18. SI sika NM1 shka/ (arch. acc.) <- shko/j = fold, enclosure; (sheep) pen; sacred precinct, shrine = <- zhka/zw = to pen in Cf. Linear B periqoro peri/boloj = sheep pen?
HT 27 wi PH 31 pi PH 31 sh ZA 9 sh (x3)
19. SU supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) OM =small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo
-or- supi/supu/supu2 OM = largest size pithos -or- MOSE NM1 supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal
20. MA? 10 ve ZA 5 wi
TA taikama OM tai + NM1 ka/ma = a unit of land, something like an acre? -or- ta2re/ta2reki NM1 sta=rei<- stai=j wheaten flour mixed into dough + tasise sta/sisei -or- tai2si (taisi) NM1 stai=sei <- stai=j = with wheaten flour mixed into a dough (instr. pl.)
HT 28 oo (x2) HT 35 oo KH 19 oo KH 39 KH 55 oo KH 61 oo KH 85 oo
21. TE = teresa OM = liquid unit of measurement
HT 6 fi HT 13 wi HT 17 wi HT 19 wi HT 21 gr HT 40 gr HT 44 gr HT 51 fi HT 62 wi HT 67 fi HT 70 fi HT 96 fi HT 133 gr TH 6 te TH Zb 11 wi
22. TI tisa OM = pottery worker/working on pottery/pottery wheel (tourney)?
KH 10 ve
23. TU ?
HT 23 oo HT 28 oo HT 50 oo HT 101 oo TY 3 oo
24. U uro NM1 ou0=loj = entire, total. Cf. kuro ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total ?
HT 2 oo HT 21 oo HT 28 oo HT 40 00 (x3) HT 43 oo HT 58 oo HT 91 oo HT 96 oo HT 100 oo HT 101 oo (x2) HT 125 oo HT 140 oo (x8) TY 3 oo
25. WA HT 27 wi (x2)
26. WI winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado -or- winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj -or- winumatari NM1 #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth (agglutinative)
27. KH 5 wi
Astonishing commentary on my Exhaustive Linear A lexicon, comparing my achievements to those of Albert Einstein! In the past week since I first uploaded my Exhaustive Linear A Lexicon, it has received 410 hits, i.e. downloads, as of 5:00 pm., Monday 7 August 2017. This amounts to almost 60 downloads a day. To download it, click below. You will then be taken to the next page, where you simply click the green DOWNLOAD button. The lexicon has catapulted me from the top 5% to the top 0.1% of academia.edu users. Comments and commendations have been pouring in. Unquestionably, the most astonishing is this one: Other comments include: wonderful topic... Inspired by your new perspective on one of the most studied cultures in the world. Yes when you see their artifacts and the technology needed to create such items is amazing... Thanks for the reply and keep up the great work
Linear B syllabograms, homophones and special characters missing from the Linear A syllabary:
A considerable number of Mycenaean Linear B syllabograms, homophones and special characters missing from the Linear A syllabary. But the same can be said for a fairly large number of Linear A syllabograms, homophones and special characters missing from Linear B. Thus, students of both syllabaries must master, first the overlap, which accounts for most of the characters in both syllabaries, and secondly, the discrepancies, of which there are scores. There is simply no way around it. If you are a student of both Linear A and Linear B you have to learn the syllabograms, homophones and special characters found in one of the syllabaries but missing in the other.
Notably, the O series of syllabograms in Linear B suffers from several lacunae in Linear A. This is simply because Linear A has an aversion the ultimate O, and nothing more. Words which terminate in O in Linear B, which is to say, masculine and neuters, much more commonly end in U in Linear A. And this includes a great many exograms which are common to both syllabaries.
Above all else, the masculine and neuter genitive singular always terminates in O in Linear B, and always in U in Linear A. The feminine genitive singular ultimate in Linear A, just as we find in Linear B, appears to be ija, and there are plenty of examples (for instance, jadireja, kiraja, kupa3rija, musajanemaruja, namarasasaja, nenaarasaja, nemaruja, nenaarasaja, nukisikija, sejarapaja, sidija, sudaja and Sukirteija, to cite just a few) . The problem is that no examples of masculine or neuter genitive singular with the ultimate ijo exist. Only a few words terminate in iju, (aju, araju, kumaju, kureju, pirueju and sareju), but these are almost certainly masculine and/or neuter genitive singular, hence likely validating the notion that the feminine genitive singular is ija.
Haiku in Linear A, Zadeu the priest, reminding us of Handel’s Zadok the Priest:
Did the archaic nominative and/or genitive singular feminine ending in ja/ya in Mycenaean Greek derive from the Minoan language? 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: amaja aseja asuja dija Cf. LB di-u-ja = diyia = priestess of the god Zeus duja esija ija iruja itaja jadireja 10 jasaja jatoja kija kiraja koja kuja kupa3rija * kupaja masaja (of larger? L&S 426) masuja 20 mireja (belonging to a sheep? L&S 443) musajanemaruja namarasasaja nenaarasaja nemaruja nenaarasaja nukisikija * oteja pa3kija paja 30 pasarija * pija piwaja qapaja qeja radasija * raja rasasaja redamija * reduja 40 reja saja/sajea sejarapaja sidija * sija sudaja suja Sukirteija tija tikuja 50 tiraduja tuimaja Tukidija Tunija waja (land) wija zanwaija 57 These 57 Minoan Linear A words may be either: 1 the primordial nominative singular feminine OR 2 the primordial genitive singular feminine OR 3 neither The last scenario is just as probable as the first two.
Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada) almost completely deciphered + the 4 categories of Linear A tablets: Here you see Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada), which I have been able to decipher almost completely. This is because the tablet is comprised mostly of ideograms, making it much easier to reconstruct the original text. In addition, I have already translated the supersyllabogram TE = tereza (on the first line) as being a large unit of liquid measurement, which in the case of wine might be something like “a flask”, “a jug” or something along the lines of “a gallon”, on the explicit understanding that there was no such thing as a gallon in Minoan times; this is merely an approximation. The supersyllabograms PU & DI are unknown, i.e. indecipherable, at least to date. Likewise, the Old Minoan word, apu2nadu (apunaidu) is also unknown, but it might mean “harvest”. The units of wheat are probably equivalent to something like a bushel. The supersyllabogram MI = mini signifies “for a month” (dative) or “monthly”, and is New Minoan, i.e. a word of Mycenaean origin superimposed on Linear A. The rest of the decipherment is self-explanatory. Decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablets falls into four (4) categories: 1. Tablets on which we find only Old Minoan words, or on which the vast majority of words are Old Minoan. These tablets are pretty much indecipherable. 2. Tablets on which we find a combination of Old Minoan and New Minoan (words of Mycenaean origin). The more New Minoan words on a tablet, the more likely we are going to be able to decipher it. Ideally, there should be more New Minoan (Mycenaean) words than Old Minoan (the original Minoan substratum), in order to divine the meanings of Old Minoan words immediately adjacent to New Minoan words. This is of course contextual analysis. Such tablets are at least partially decipherable. 3. Linear A tablets containing ideograms almost exclusively are susceptible to decipherment. HT 14 (Haghia Triada) falls into this category. 4. A very few Linear A tablets are written mostly, almost entirely and in one case only, entirely in New Minoan (the Mycenaean superstratum). These tablets can be be mostly and in some cases entirely deciphered.
“Can quantum computers assist in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A?” Keynote article on academia.edu (Click on the graphical link below to download this ground-breaking article on the application of potentially superintelligent quantum quantum computers to the decipherment, even partial, of the ancient Minoan Linear A syllabary): This is a major new article on the application of quantum computers to the AI (artificial intelligence) involvement in the decipherment of the unknown ancient Minoan Linear A syllabary (ca. 2800 – 1500 BCE). This article advances the hypothesis that quantum computers such as the world’s very first fully functional quantum computer, D-Wave, of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, may very well be positioned to assist human beings in the decipherment, even partial, of the Minoan Linear A syllabary. This article goes to great lengths in explaining how quantum computers can expedite the decipherment of Minoan Linear A. It addresses the critical questions raised by Nick Bostrom, in his ground-breaking study, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (Oxford University Press, 2014), in which he advances the following hypothesis: Nick Bostrom makes it clear that artificial superintelligence (AS) does not necessarily have to conform to or mimic human intelligence. For instance, he says: 1. We have already cautioned against anthropomorphizing the capabilities of a superintelligent AI. The warning should be extend to pertain to its motivations as well. (pg 105) and again, 2. This possibility is most salient with respect to AI, which might be structured very differently than human intelligence. (pg. 172) ... passim ... It is conceivable that optimal efficiency would be attained by grouping aggregates that roughly match the cognitive architecture of a human mind. It might be the case, for example, that a mathematics module must be tailored to a language module, in order for the three to work together... passim ... There might be niches for complexes that are either less complex (such as individual modules), more complex (such as vast clusters of modules), or of similar complexity to human minds but with radically different architectures. ... among others respecting the probable advent of superintelligence within the next 20-40 years (2040-2060). This is a revolutionary article you will definitely not want to miss reading, if you are in any substantial way fascinated by the application of supercomputers and preeminently, quantum computers, which excel at lightning speed pattern recognition, which they can do so across templates of patterns in the same domain, to the decipherment of Minoan Linear A, an advanced technological endeavour which satisfies these scientific criteria. In the case of pattern recognition across multiple languages, ancient and modern, in other words in cross-comparative multi-language analysis, the astonishing capacity of quantum computers to perform this operation in mere seconds is an exceptional windfall we simply cannot afford not to take full advantage of. Surely quantum computers’ mind-boggling lightning speed capacity to perform such cross-comparative multi-linguistic analysis is a boon beyond our wildest expectations.
Under the syllabogram RE in Minoan Linear A, there appears to be only one word of possible proto-Greek origin and it is... This table is self-explanatory.
6 more Minoan Linear A putative proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean words: DA-DI. But are they proto-Greek at all? As we forge our way through Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon, in which he Latinizes the orthography of Minoan Linear A words, we now arrive at Linear A words beginning with the syllabograms DA through to DI. It is absolutely de rigueur to read the Notes in the table above; otherwise, my tentative decipherments of 6 more Minoan words in Linear A as being possibly proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean will not make any sense at all. The table also draws attention to those words which are of moderate frequency (MF) on Minoan Linear A tablets and fragments, with the far greater proportion of them appearing on mere fragments. I cannot emphasize this point enough. In view of the fact that the vast majority of Minoan Linear A extant remnants are just that, remnants or fragments and nothing more, it is of course next to impossible to verify whether or not the 6 words I have extrapolated (or for that matter any other so-called proto-Greek words) as possibly being proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean are that at all. Add to this caveat that researchers and linguists specializing in ancient Greek often hypothesize that, and I quote verbatim: It is possible that Greek took over some thousand words and proper names from such a language (or languages), because some of its vocabulary cannot be satisfactorily explained as deriving from the Proto-Greek language (italics mine). Among these pre-Greek substratum words we find Anatolian loanwords such as: dépas ‘cup; pot, vessel’, Mycenaean di-pa, from the Luwian = tipa = sky, bowl or cup, one of the pre-Greek substratum words right in the table above! + eléphas ‘ivory’, from Hittite lahpa; + kýmbachos ‘helmet’, from Hittite kupahi ‘headgear’; + kýmbalon ‘cymbal’, from Hittite huhupal ‘wooden percussion instrument’; + mólybdos ‘lead’, Mycenaean mo-ri-wo-do, from Lydian mariwda(s)k ‘the dark ones’ etc. But there is more, significantly more. Wikipedia, Greek language: has this to say about Greek vocabulary. Vocabulary: Greek is a language distinguished by an extensive vocabulary. Most of the vocabulary of Ancient Greek was inherited, but it includes a number of borrowings from the languages of the populations that inhabited Greece before the arrival of Proto-Greeks. (italics mine)  Words of non-Indo-European origin can be traced into Greek from as early as Mycenaean times; they include a large number of Greek toponyms. Further discussion of a pre-Greek substratum continues here: Where, in addition to the pre-Greek substratum words I have already cited above, we find, and again I quote verbatim: The Pre-Greek substrate consists of the unknown language or languages spoken in prehistoric Greece before the settlement of Proto-Greek speakers in the area (italics mine). It is thought possible that Greek took over some thousand words and proper names from such a language (or languages), because some of its vocabulary cannot be satisfactorily explained as deriving from the Proto-Greek language Possible Pre-Greek loanwords Personal names: Odysseus; Theonyms: Hermes; Maritime vocabulary: thálassa = sea; Words relating to Mediterranean agriculture: elai(w)a = olive & ampelos = vine Building technology: pyrgos = tower; Placenames, especially those terminating in -nth- : Korinthos, Zakynthos & in -ss- : Parnassos & in and -tt- : Hymettus And, to ram my point home, one of the pre-Greek substrata identified is the Minoan language itself. It is on this basis and upon this foundation, among others, that I posit the following hypothesis: Pre-Greek substratum words are both proto-Greek and not, simultaneously! The assumption that certain Minoan words in Linear A appear to be proto-Greek or even proto-Mycenaean (if we wish to stretch the notion one small step further, which I believe is entirely justified) does not in and of itself necessarily imply that some or even quite possibly most of them are de facto actually of proto-Indo-European proto-Greek origin, when quite plainly (so) many of them are not of such origin. In other words, we find ourselves face to face with an apparent contradiction in terms, a dye-in-the-wool linguistic paradox: some, many or even most of the so-called pre- + proto-Greek words we encounter in Minoan Linear A are likely to be proto-Greek, but only insofar as they crop up again and again in later ancient Greek dialects, right on down from the earliest East Greek dialect, Mycenaean, through Arcado-Cypriot on down to Ionic and Attic Greek and beyond, while simultaneously being of non-Indo-european origin, if you can wrap your head around that notion... which I most definitely can. So if anyone dares claim that all of those words in Minoan (of which there seem to be quite a substantial number) are de facto proto-Greek, that person should think again. Think before you leap. It is much too easy for us to jump to spurious conclusions with respect to the supposed proto-Greek origin(s) of many words in Minoan Linear A. To compound the matter further, let us consider the situation from the opposite end of the spectrum. It is widely known, by both intellectual non-linguists, i.e. intelligent native speakers of any given language, and by professional linguists alike, that pretty much every modern language borrows not just thousands, but tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of words from prior languages. The one modern language which exemplifies this phenomenon par excellence is non other than English, in which we find hundreds of thousands of loanwords from ancient Greek, Latin and Norman French. Now it goes without saying that all languages, ancient and modern, follow the same pattern of accumulating some and even as many as thousands of loanwords. Ancient Latin did so with ancient Greek. And here lies the rub. So must have Mycenaean Greek with the Minoan language. In Chris Tslentis’ Linear B Lexicon, we find many words which cannot possibly be accounted for as being proto-Greek, but which must be of some other origin. And one of the most likely origins for a relatively large subset of these words is probably the Minoan language itself. Allow me to cite just a few of the more glaring examples: adete = binder Akireu = Achilles Aminiso = Amnisos harbour (Cf. Linear A, Uminaso) Damate = Demeter (Cf. Linear A, Idamate) dipa = cup (Cf. Linear A, depa) erepa = ivory kama = a unit of land kanako = safflower, saffron (Cf. Linear A, kanaka) kidapa = (ash) wood? mare/mari = wool (Cf. Linear A, maru) opa = workshop? serino = celery (Cf. Linear A, sedina) tarasa = sea Now if even most of the so-called Mycenaean Greek terms listed here are actually Minoan, then it is stands to reason that Mycenaean Greek inherited them from the Minoan language itself, and ergo, that they are not necessarily proto-Greek words at all. It is as if we were in a flip-flop. Either way, whether or not any of the words which we have flagged (and shall continue to tag) as possibly being proto-Greek in the Minoan language or the other way around, whether or not certain words in Mycenaean Greek are not proto-Greek at all, and not even of proto-Indo-European origin, we find ourselves floundering in a Saragossa Sea of linguistic incertitude from which we really cannot extricate ourselves. So to all those researchers, past and present, into the Minoan language who make the claim, categorical or not, that much of the vocabulary of the Minoan language is proto-Greek, I say “Beware!” lest you fall into a trap from which you cannot reasonably hope to extricate yourselves.
Is the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE in Minoan or in proto-Greek? PART A: Is it in the Minoan language? In my previous post on the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE, I postulated that the word Idamate was probably either the name of the king or of the high priestess (of the labyrinth?) to whom this labrys has been ritually dedicated. But in so doing I was taking the path of least resistance, by seeking out the two most simplistic decipherments which would be the least likely to prove troublesome or controversial. In retrospect, that was a cop-out. No sooner had I posted my two alternate simplistic translations than I was informed by a close colleague of mine in the field of diachronic historical linguistics focusing on Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B that at least two other alternative decipherments came into play, these being: 1. that the term Idamate may be the Minoan equivalent of the Mycenaean Linear B Damate, which is apparently an early version of the ancient Greek, Demeter, who was the goddess of cereals and harvesting: 2. that the term Idamate may be Minoan for Mount Ida, in which case, the word Mate = “mount”, such that the phrase actually spells out “Ida mount(ain)” : Since both of these decipherments make eminent sense, either could, at least theoretically, be correct. But there is a third alternative, and it is far more controversial and compelling than either of the first two. 3. It is even possible that the four syllabograms I DA MA & TE are in fact supersyllabograms, which is to say that each syllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a word, presumably a Minoan word. But if these 4 supersyllabograms represent four consecutive Minoan words, what on earth could these words possibly signify, in light of the fact that we know next to nothing about the Minoan language. It appears we are caught in an irresolvable Catch-22. Yet my own recent research has allowed me to tease potential decipherments out of 107 or about 21 % of all intact words in Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A lexicon of 510 terms by my own arbitrary count. Scanning this scanty glossary yielded me numerous variations on 3 terms which might conceivably make sense in at least one suppositious context. These terms (all of which I have tentatively deciphered) are: 1. For I: itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil (exact value unknown) 2. FOR DA: either: daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere (high certainty) or datara = (sacred) grove of olive trees or data2 (datai) = olive, pl. date = Linear B erawo or datu = olive oil or daweda = medium size amphora with two handles 3. For TE: tereza = large unit of dry or liquid measurement or tesi = small unit of measurement But I cannot find any equivalent for MA other than maru, which seemingly means “wool”, even in Minoan Linear A, this being the apparent equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B mari or mare. The trouble is that this term (if that is what the third supersyllabogram in idamate stands in for) does not contextually mesh at all with any of the alternatives for the other three words symbolized by their respective supersyllabograms. But does that mean the phrase is not Minoan? Far from it. There are at least 2 cogent reasons for exercising extreme caution in jumping to the conclusion that the phrase cannot be in Minoan. These are: 1. that the decipherments of all of the alternative terms I have posited for the supersyllabograms I DA & TE above are all tentative, even if they are more than likely to be close to the mark and some of them probably bang on (for instance, daropa), which I believe they are; 2. that all 3 of the supersyllabograms I DA & TE may instead stand for entirely different Minoan words, none of which I have managed to decipher. And God knows there are plenty of them! Since I have managed to decipher only 107 of 510 extant intact Minoan Linear A words by my arbitrary count, that leaves 403 or 79 % undeciphered! That is far too great a figure to be blithely brushed aside. The > impact of combinations of a > number of Minoan Linear A words on their putative decipherment: To give you a rough idea of the number of undeciphered Minoan words beginning with I DA & TE I have not been able to account for, here we have a cross-section of just a few of those words from Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A Reverse Lexicon: which are beyond my ken: For I: iininuni ijadi imetu irima itaki For DA: dadana daini daki daku daqaqa For MA: madadu majasa manuqa masuri For TE: tedatiqa tedekima tenamipi teneruda But the situation is far more complex than it appears at first sight. To give you just a notion of the enormous impact of exponential mathematical permutations and combinations on the potential for gross errors in any one of a substantial number of credible decipherments of any given number of Minoan Linear A terms as listed even in the small cross-section of the 100s of Minoan Words in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon, all we have to do is relate the mathematical implications of the chart on permutations to any effort whatsoever at the decipherment of even a relatively small no. of Minoan Linear A words: CLICK on the chart of permutations to link to the URL where the discussion of both permutations and combinations occurs: to realize how blatantly obvious it is that any number of interpretations of any one of the selective cross-section of terms which I have listed here can be deemed the so-called actual term corresponding to the supersyllabogram which supposedly represents it. But, and I must emphatically stress my point, this is just a small cross-section of all of the terms in the Linear B Reverse Lexicon beginning with each of the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE in turn. It is grossly obvious that, if we allow for the enormous number of permutations and combinations to which the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE must categorically be subjected mathematically, it is quite out of the question to attempt any decipherment of these 4 supersyllabograms, I DA MA & TE, without taking context absolutely into consideration. And even in that eventuality, there is no guarantee whatsoever that any putative decipherment of each of these supersyllabograms (I DA MA & TE) in turn in the so-called Minoan language will actually hold water, since after all, a smaller, but still significant subset of an extremely large number of permutation and combinations must still remain incontestably in effect. The mathematics of the aforementioned equations simply stack up to a very substantial degree against any truly convincing decipherment of any single Minoan Linear A term, except for one small consideration (or as it turns out, not so small at all). As it so happens, and as we have posited in our first two alternative decipherments above, i.e. 1. that Idamate is Minoan for Mycenaean Damate, the probable equivalent of classical Greek Demeter, or 2. that Idamate actually means “Mount Ida”, these two possible decipherments which do make sense can be extrapolated from the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE, at least if we take into account the Minoan Linear A terms beginning with I DA & TE (excluding TE), which I have managed, albeit tentatively, to decipher. However, far too many putative decipherments of the great majority of words in the Minoan language itself are at present conceivable, at least to my mind. Yet, this scenario is quite likely to change in the near future, given that I have already managed to tentatively decipher 107 or 21 % of 510 extant Minoan Linear A words, by my arbitrary count. It is entirely conceivable that under these circumstances I shall be able to decipher even more Minoan language words in the near future. In point of fact, if Idamate actually does mean either Idamate (i.e. Demeter) or Ida Mate (i.e. Mount Ida), then: (a) with only 2 possible interpretations for IDAMATE now taken into account, the number of combinations and permutations is greatly reduced to an almost insignificant amount & (b) the actual number of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered to date rises from 107 to 108 (in a Boolean OR configuration, whereby we can add either “Demeter” or “Mount Ida” to our Lexicon, but not both). A baby step this may be, but a step forward regardless.
Are there “adjuncts” a.k.a. Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A? Apparently so... at least in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan economy. But what do they mean? Part A: Preamble I recently searched Google for as many Minoan Linear A tablets as I could find which might conceivably support the phenomenon I refer to as supersyllabograms, a.k.a as “adjuncts” in the research literature on Mycenaean Linear B, and to my utter surprise and astonishment I discovered one rather long intact Linear A tablet fitting the bill. There are on it what appear to be several “incharged adjuncts”, which is a contradiction in terms when you stop to think about it, since an adjunct, an element adjacent to an ideogram in either Mycenaean Linear B or (possibly) Minoan Linear A cannot be bound inside said ideogram, because if it were so, it would no longer be an adjunct, i.e. adjacent. Among other reasons, this is why I have chosen to refer to so-called “adjuncts” in Linear B as supersyllabograms. I have defined this term over and over on our blog, and if you wish to learn what a supersyllabogram is, I urge you to go to the section, Supersyllabograms, flagged here at the top of our blog. Just click on the word to jump to that section: Click to ENLARGE Now if we turn our attention to supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector alone in Mycenaean Linear B, here is what we find: Click to ENLARGE Without our delving nto details re. the specific meaning of each and every one of these 10 supersyllabograms out of a total of 35 which I have discovered to date in all sectors of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, we can still see that each one clearly delimits the actual type of vessel with which the incharged supersyllabogram is concerned. For instance, the syllabogram di incharged in the ideogram for a two-handled kylix indicates that this is a libation vessel either to Poseidon or Potnia, two major Minoan/Mycenaean gods, whole so incharged in its vessel would in all probability indicates that this is a funerary urn. Now when turn to we examine the Minoan Linear A you see illustrated here: Click to ENLARGE: from the site: Study Questions: Biers, Chapter 1: "Archaeology in Greece" and Biers, Chapter 2: "The Minoans" , which you can visit here: we at once see that it too contains a total of 6 syllabograms, all of which are incharged in the ideograms for pottery or vessels which they represent. By “incharged” I mean that the supersyllabogram is bound inside the ideogram with which it is associated. In Mycenaean Linear B at least, all incharged supersyllabograms without exception are attributive, that is to say, they describe an actual (adjectival) attribute of the ideogram within which they are found. The question is, what do they mean? In other words, (a) how does each of these incharged syllabograms delimit the vessel they are attributes of to one and one only specific type of vessel? This leads us directly to the next obvious question, (b) what can each of these incharged supersyllabograms mean? Can we glean from each of them the actual meaning, i.e. the type of vessel with which they are concerned? — because if there is even a chance that we can, then we shall have discovered for the first time ever the actual meanings of a possible maximum of 6 Minoan words, and that would constitute a breakthrough, however minimal, in the decipherment of the Minoan language, which has to date resisted all attempts whatsoever at decipherment. Two of the characters, 2 and 5 on this tablet may not be Linear A syllabograms. I am unable to identify them as such. 1 appears to be the syllabogram su, but I cannot be sure. 3 is definitely the syllabogram for the vowel u, while 4 appears to be that for po. 6 is definitely the syllabogram for the vowel a. Even though this syllabogram clearly signifies an amphora in Mycenaean Linear B, no such conclusion can be safely drawn for Minoan Linear A, since the language is not Greek — unless the word for amphora is pre-Greek, which is highly unlikely. But the question remains, what kinds of vessels do the Minoan syllabograms su & po (which are tentative on this tablet), and u and a, which are certain, signify? With reference to the so-called certainty of the syllabograms a in u in Minoan Linear A, we of course have to rely on the premise that all or at least the vast majority of syllabograms in Minoan Linear A are either identical or nearly identical to their Mycenaean Linear B counterparts. But unfortunately even that is not so certain, although most linguists and researchers into Minoan Linear A believe this to be the case. For the sake of uniformity and consistence with the prevailing views on the actual phonemic value of each Minoan Linear A syllabogram, let us assume this is the case. If this scenario is indeed tenable, I propose in the next 3 posts to unravel the putative meanings of a maximum of 4 types of vessels as found on the Minoan Linear A tablet illustrated above, down to a minimum of one, the word for “tripod” in Linear A, perhaps the only one for which the definition would appear to be sound. Richard