Full PDF text of “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B” for the talk I gave at The Third International Disciplinary Conference ‘Thinking Symbols’ at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Poland, July 1 2015 This is the full PDF text (Click to READ): The Role of SSYLS in Mycenean Linear B of the ground-breaking talk I gave at The Third International Disciplinary Conference ‘Thinking Symbols’ at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, July 1 2015. This presentation constitutes the most significant breakthrough in the further decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B since the genius, Michael Ventris, realized a successful decipherment of the Linear B syllabary in June-July 1952. In this paper, I isolate, identify and classify all 34 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, previously and largely erroneously referred to as “adjuncts” in the field of linguistic research into Linear B. The discovery of supersyllabograms is of such critical import to the full decipherment of Linear B that they simply cannot safely be ignored, to the peril of misinterpretation or even total misreadings of some 700-1,000 intact Linear B tablets from Knossos alone. In fact, it staggers the imagination to find that fully 34 of 61 syllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B alternatively function as supersyllabograms on hundreds of tablets. Actually, it is more accurate to say that syllabograms specifically identified as supersyllabograms are no longer simple syllabograms at all, as my talk makes perfectly clear. Read on, my friends, and stand as amazed as I was (and still am) at the discovery, isolation, identification and classification of supersyllabograms in Linear B. Furthermore, my presentation includes an extremely comprehensive bibliography of 147 items on prior research into any and all phenomena related to syllabograms leading (in)directly to my own discovery of supersyllabograms as a phenomenon it is own right. This bibliography even references (item 139) the upcoming publication of a major article by myself, which is to appear in the February 2016 issue of prestigious peer-reviewed European journal, Archaeology and Science = Arheoologija I Prirodne Nauke (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, February 2016. approx. 30 pp. ABSTRACT In partnership with The Association of Historical Studies, Koryvantes (Athens), our organization, Linear B,Knossos & Mycenae (WordPress), conducts ongoing research into Mycenaean archaeology and military affairs and the Mycenaean Greek dialect. This study centres on a fresh new decipherment of Pylos tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris) by Mrs. Rita Roberts from Crete, who brings to bear the unique perspectives of an archaeologist on her translation, in all probability the most accurate realized to date. We then introduce the newly minted term in Mycenaean Linear B, the supersyllabogram, being the first syllabogram or first syllable of any word or entire phrase in Linear B. Supersyllabograms have been erroneously referred to as “adjuncts” in previous linguistic research into Mycenaean Linear B. This article demonstrates that their functionality significantly exceeds such limitations, and that the supersyllabogram must be fully accounted for as a unique and discrete phenomenon without which any approach to the interpretation of the Linear B syllabary is at best incomplete, and at worse, severely handicapped. Keywords: Mycenaean Linear B, syllabograms, logograms, ideograms, supersyllabograms, adjuncts, Linear B tablets, Pylos, Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), decipherment, translation, pottery, vessels, tripods, cauldrons, amphorae, kylixes, cups, goblets Please note that this post shall shortly be supplemented with several more delving into the general application of supersyllabograms in Linear B, and into the specific application of them to every sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, from agriculture to the military, from textiles to vessels (pottery) to over-arching realm of the religious in their society. Richard
Just added to my academia.edu page, Translation of the Introduction to Book II of the Iliad, and its Profound Implications in the Regressive-Progressive Reconstruction of Unattested, Derived (D) Mycenaean Greek Vocabulary and Grammar, here: This is the first of a series of several papers I shall be publishing this year and next (2016) on my hypothesis underpinning the theoretical and proposed actual links between the archaic Greek of Book II of the Iliad by Homer, and in particular of the Catalogue of Ships (lines 459-815). These papers are of extreme significance to the methodology, process and procedure of regressive extrapolation of Mycenaean Greek vocabulary or grammatical constructs derived from the most archaic Greek in the Iliad, considered by many researchers to be an in)direct offshoot of Mycenaean Greek itself. Vocabulary or grammatical constructs thus derived are then progressively applied to reconstruct parallel elements missing from any attested Linear B sources regardless. I cannot stress too much the extreme significance of this particular line of research I am pursuing in the reconstruction of numerous elements (possibly even into the hundreds) of Mycenaean Greek derived from these sections alone of the Iliad. Richard
Introduction to the Complete Bibliography of 138 Citations for “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B”, Presentation by Richard Vallance Janke at the 2015 Conference in the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30-July 2, 2015. In the next 2 posts, I shall present my exhaustive bibliography of 138 items (79 citations in each of the two parts) for the talk I shall be giving on “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B” at the 2015 Conference, “Thinking in Symbols” in the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30-July 2, 2015. It is so exhaustive that I doubt I have missed any sources of any significance to the topic at hand. Of course, the paper of the talk itself cannot be released at this time, as it is still under wraps. Certain researchers past and present, above all Marie-Louise Nosch, have made significant contributions towards the realization of the General Theory of Supersyllabograms which I have just finalized this year, after a year of intensive research (spring 2014 – spring 2015). Previous researchers have sometimes come right up to the edge of a general theory correlating the single or multiple syllabograms they usually designate as “adjuncts” or “endograms” to the Linear B ideograms to which they are “surcharged” (i.e. attached), and which they invariably qualify. But all of these definitions are lacking in one sense or another, for the following reasons: 1. Although designated as (mere) “adjuncts” to the ideograms they invariably qualify, these associative single or multiple syllabograms (up to a maximum of 5!) are far more than that. Standing in as first-syllable abbreviations for words and even entire phrases in Mycenaean Greek, they play an absolutely critical rôle in significantly qualifying the ideograms to which they are attached, all the more so when the tablet on which they are found contains no text whatsoever, but only ideograms with these so-called “adjuncts”. But since these “adjuncts” invariably replace either Mycenaean words or (very often) entire phrases, they cannot be relegated to the status of simple adjuncts. In far too many instances, these single syllabograms encompass so much text that their inherent meaning as such turns out to be much more comprehensive and significant than that of the ideograms to which they are presumably attached. In other words, the single syllabogram(s) embodies/embody so much more than what would have otherwise been nothing but wasteful discursive text. So it appears that we should expediently and practically refer to as the ideogram as the adjunct, rather than the other way around. On tablets with no text whatsoever and with 3 or more syllabograms performing this function, it is more than apparent that all of the single syllabograms functioning as the first syllable of a Mycenaean Greek word or an entire phrase replace so much discursive text that they literally cut down the amount of space used on the tablet in question by as much as two-thirds! Since the Linear B scribes at Knossos and Pylos in particular were real sticklers for saving as much space as they possibly could on what were (and are) extremely small extant tablets (rarely more than 15 cm. or 6 inches wide), they resorted to this stratagem so often (on at least 23% of the Linear B tablets at Knossos) that the practice is, if anything, of far greater importance to an accurate decipherment of those tablets on which they appear than was previously thought. It is for this reason that I have come to designate syllabograms playing this rôle as supersyllabograms, and certainly not as mere “adjuncts” or “endograms”, since that is patently what they are – supersyllabograms. 2. The designation of supersyllabograms as “endograms” is extremely misleading and quite inaccurate, since as many of these supersyllabograms precede as follow the ideograms to which they are attached. So “endograms” account for only half of supersyllabograms at best. Besides, what are we to call the supersyllabograms which precede the ideograms to which they are attached? Has anyone thought of that or even mentioned it in previous research? Not that I have ever seen, and I have read every single document (monographs, journal articles and articles in every past conference) I could lay my hands on. The reason for this lacuna is clear enough. Past researchers have focused solely on “adjuncts” or “endograms” related solely to the field of research in Mycenaean Linear B which is of primary and frequently exclusive interest to themselves. Even Marie-Louise Nosch, who has done an astonishing amount of truly remarkable research in this area, has restricted herself to the textiles sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, as that is her primary field of interest. Fair enough. Given this scenario, it appears to me that researchers past and present have been focusing exclusively on the trees or even sometimes, as with Marie-Louise Nosch, on whole clearings in forest. But none have ever concentrated on the entire forest, at least until last year, when I myself decided to ransack every single syllabogram on some 3,000 tablets (not fragments) from Knossos, in order to hypothesize, if at all possible, a general pattern to the use of supersyllabograms with ideograms. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. So far, I have discovered that at least 33 of the 61 syllabograms plus one of the homophones (“rai” for saffron) frequently function as supersyllabograms. Under the circumstances, and given that so many scribes so often resorted to this strategy, I soon enough concluded that it was not only a standard convention in the compilation of some 700 tablets at Knossos, but that the supersyllabograms found on these tablets were almost invariably formulaic codes. And in ancient Greek – witness Homer alone - any practice which was both conventional and formulaic was always deliberate. No-one ever resorts to such strategies in any language, unless they have abundant reason to do so. This is all the more true for the practices the Linear B scribes routinely ascribed to, given that they would do absolutely anything, if they possibly could, to save precious space on their tiny clay tablets. This too is another crucial factor past researchers have overlooked. Linear B scribes only recorded information which was absolutely essential to the precise compilation of what were (and are) after all statistical accounts and inventories. We can take the far-reaching consequences and implications of this conclusion even further. Have you ever seen a modern-day inventory which resorts to similar tactics to conserve precious space and to make the inventory as clear, precise and accurate as possible? Of course you have. As illustrated in the following two examples, the most efficient of modern inventories resort to the same tactics, the formulaic use of code abbreviations as substitutes for wasteful discursive text with predictable frequency – which is almost always: Click to ENLARGE each one with its relevant notes In other words, just as abbreviations serve as default codes in modern inventories, supersyllabograms function pretty much the same way on the Linear B tablets. Supersyllabograms are in fact inventory codes for the Mycenaean Linear B words or entire phrases they replace. This revelation surely substantiates the claim I am now going to make: the Linear B scribes were far ahead of their time in the compilation of inventories and statistics. No other ancient language, including classical Greek and even Latin, came remotely close to this extremely advanced practice the Linear scribes so brilliantly and consciously contrived for their astonishing ability to create practical templates they consistently applied to inventorial management. And no-one until the Italian bankers in Renaissance was to revive the practice with equal skill. As for the standard practices of the Linear B scribal inventories, they are so remarkably alike modern 20th. & 20st. Century practices that it is uncanny. 3. But there is more. Why previous researchers have not drawn attention to the fact that many supersyllabograms, especially in the field of textiles, neither precede nor follow the ideograms they qualify, but are almost invariably inside them, is beyond me. Once again, no one in any language resorts to any stratagem without solid practical and even logical reason(s). Such is the case with the textile “intragrams”, as opposed to “exograms” in Linear B, the latter of which invariably qualify pretty much all ideograms in the field of agriculture. Again, this raises the critical, hardly hypothetical, question, why. And again, there are substantive and strictly functional reasons why the Linear B scribes made this critical distinction – because they knew they had to. Supersyllabograms functioning as “exograms” are always associative, while those operating as “intragrams” are invariably attributive. The Linear B scribes made this fundamental distinction between the two sub-classes of supersyllabograms for the simple reason that they, as a guild, knew perfectly well what the operative distinction was which each of these types of supersyllabograms played on the tablets on which they were inscribed. The talk I am giving at the Conference in Pultusk between June 30 and July 2 2015 will make this perfectly clear. 4. I have no objection to the designation “surcharged” for “exograms” as supersyllabograms, because they are not only literally surcharged onto the ideograms with which they are always associated, they also figuratively surcharge the meaning(s) of these ideograms, in a sense somewhat akin to super-charged gasoline or petrol which beefs up engine performance in cars - or by symbolic association, something along those lines. But I am forced to object to the designation of “intragrams” as surcharged in the textiles sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economies, for the obvious reason that they are both literally and figuratively not surcharged at all. Again, the scribes never resorted to “intragrams”, unless they were absolutely critical to an actual attribute, whenever required in a particular case, such as the frequent designation of colour for textiles. Ask yourselves, why would any scribe in his right mind write out the full name of the default colour white for linen, when he did not have to? He simply would not. On the other hand, the Linear B scribes did make use of an attributive supersyllabogram when they knew perfectly well that it was critical to the economic class status of the cloth so designated. For instance, purple cloth, designated by the supersyllabogram PU for Mycenaean Linear B pupureyo – a royal colour par excellence – was much more refined and far more expensive than the heavier and coarser plain white linen cloth (rino) spun for the hoi polloi (the lower classes). So they had to mention that for the sake of the “wanaka” or King (of Knossos or Mycenae) to whom this distinction was all too important, given that neither he nor his Queen no any of the princes royal would ever be caught dead wearing cheap cloth. There is much more to this than meets the eye, as I shall clearly illustrate in the book, The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, which is to appear sometime in 2016, if all goes well. I would be truly remiss were I not to acknowledge the major contributions the French researcher, Marie-Louise Nosch, whom I have cited 15 times (!) in my bibliography, has made to fundamentally accurate definitions of supersyllabograms in the textile sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy. Although I happened upon all of her astonishingly insightful research articles only after I had deciphered 32 of the 34 supersyllabograms (the other two being beyond me, as well as her), the truly accurate and intrinsically logical conclusions she came to on her own back up my conclusions on the meanings of practically all the intragrams for textiles almost to the letter. This amazing co-incidence, if that is merely what it is, serves as solid circumstantial collateral evidence to substantiate my Theory of Supersyllabograms. Co-incidence? I rather doubt that. It is a given that researchers in any scientific field tend to strike their bearings in the same general direction in any age, including our own. Like Odysseus, we are all heading for the same shore. The most convincing conclusions which will eventually be drawn from the research we are all sharing in now are yet in the offing. But in my eyes one thing is certain. Everything we researchers in Mycenaean Linear B, as a community, are aiming for now is bound to make a ground-breaking, perhaps even profound, contribution in the near future to make the further decipherment of Linear B considerably much more accurate than any we have seen to date. The Bibliography to follow in two parts (1-69 & 70-138) in the next two posts. ADDENDUM: I shall be publishing this post & the next two in academia.edu very soon, prior to my presentation at the Conference in Pultusk, Poland, June 30 - July 2, 2015. Richard
The Principle of Cross-Correlation in Progressive Linear B Grammar:
1 If you are not familiar with the fundamental principles of linguistics and/ or you cannot understand ancient Greek, it is highly advisable that you do not read this post, since it is almost certain it will leave you completely baffled even before you get half way through it. This is in no way a reflection on your intelligence, only on my native ability even to get all of what I am about to say across in a manner even approaching clarity. It is not critical to your learning the grammar of Linear B, as I will be expoundinig it, since all you really need to know is the grammar of Mycenaean Linear B itself, and nothing more. Mercifully, Mycenaean Linear B grammar will prove to be much simpler than classical Greek grammar. But the upside to this is that you will be in a much better position to learn ancient Greek once you know Mycenaean Greek, rather than the other way around. Doing it the other way around is liable to drive you half mad, as ancient Greek is notoriously difficult to get a handle on.
2. If you are a linguist or you do know ancient Greek, it is advisable to print out this entire post, so that you can read it at your leisure. Even for me, it is a bit of a “mind blower”.
That said, we are about to make the first GIANT leap in the refinement of the Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar & Vocabulary. To date, I have enumerated the following 3 basic principles underlining the theory I am in the process of expostulating. Before we can move on to explaining the Principle of Cross-Correlation in Progressive Linear B Grammar, it is imperative that we understand as fully as possible all the principles leading up to it. Since the original post for each principle antecedent to the The Principle of Cross-Correlation has been posted on this blog, I am cross-referencing to that post, so that you can review my explanation of each principle, step by step, from the first to the fourth. These steps are:
1. The first, the Principle of Regression: https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/951/
whereby I proceed from a particular standard ancient Greek grammatical form, for instance, the conjugation of the present tense of the verb e1xein (to have) using it as my point of reference or departure to apply retrospectively (i.e. in reverse chronology) to the quasi- “identical” grammatical form in Mycenaean Greek — in this instance, the present tense of the Mycenaean verb EKO (to have) — in order to reconstruct the conjugation of its present tense, in so far as I possibly can, by applying the conjugation of the present tense of its chronologically much later ancient Greek grammatical equivalent, here being the verb e1xein but only in those instances where it is patently clear that the much more ancient Mycenaean grammatical form is in fact (quasi-) identical to its chronologically much later equivalent. You will forgive me for repeating my terminology over and over, but I do so simply because it was a struggle for me to delineate this principle in the first place. So I suppose it will be the same for you. Still, once you have grasped this, the first Principle of Progressive Linear B Grammar, all subsequent principles should (hopefully) fall neatly into place.
In the application of the Principle of Regression, the chronologically much later ancient Greek grammatical form (in this case, the present tense of present tense of the verb e1xein (to have) thereby becomes the paradigm or template of its equivalent in Mycenaean Linear B, the verb EKO (to have).
2 The second Principle of Progression (covered in the same post above) is the actual reconstruction of the same grammatical form in question, here the present tense of the Mycenaean Linear B verb EKO from its much later ancient Greek conjugation, in so far as this is even feasible and practical. In the event, we soon discover that I am able to reconstruct all persons of the present tense of EKO, except the second person singular, for the reasons I postulated in the post referenced above, as we can see here:
In so far as the first two principles are concerned, the chronologically much later grammatical form which serves as the point of reference or departure, i.e. the template or paradigm, is called the source, while its Mycenaean Linear B counterpart is known as the target. I will be using these terms henceforth in any discussion of grammatical forms transferred from ancient Greek to their Mycenaean Linear B equivalents, so please bear them in mind at all times.
NOTE: where it is practically impossible to reconstruct the (presumed) Mycenaean target grammatical form from the sparsity of evidence from extant tablets, I shall not even venture to make such an attempt, since to do so would simply invalidate the procedure.
3 The third Principle of Correlation takes all other instances of the same grammatical form with the same root, to reconstruct them in Linear B, given the assumption that, if all grammatical forms of the source template are identical when their root is the same, then the equivalent target forms in Mycenaean Greek must also be identical when their root is either identical or equivalent to their source forms. This just so happens to be the case for the ancient Greek source verbs e1xein, a1gein, qh=kein and their Linear B equivalents EKEE, AKEE & TEKEE. All this is explained in excruciating detail here:
and hereby illustrated:
What, you say?… if you happen to know ancient Greek. How can this be, when these 3 source verbs in ancient Greek do not share the same root?… or so it would appear. But in fact they do, because their roots, ending in e1x, a1g, qh=k respectively are all of the same class, in this instance, the gutturals x, g, k. The distinction between gutturals of the same source class simply vanishes in their Linear B equivalent, the target syllabogram KE, since it must do service for all three of the source gutturals. This is because Linear B has no way to distinguish between Greek variants of the same class, whether they be the gutturals, linguals or labials. But enough of that for now. Only people familiar with ancient Greek or the fundamental principles of linguistics will understand what I am talking about. So if are neither a linguist nor one who reads ancient Greek, just forget about it.
4 The Principle of Cross-Correlation:
The fourth Principle of Cross-Correlation takes the previous principle one step further, but this time it is a giant leap. Fortunately, it is a lot easier to explain, now that we have slogged our way through the mire of the first 3 principles. Starting with the specific case of the conjugation of all regular source verbs whose stem ends in x, g, k – xein, gein, kein in ancient Greek, we assume in principle that the same target verbs in Linear B with the same stem KE must all be conjugated just as they are in their source equivalents. The best analogy to this theoretical assumption may just well be Einstein’s Theory of Specific Relatively, although our theory hardly approaches Einstein’s in its complexity. The one thing the Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar and Einstein’s Theory of Specific Relatively do have in common is that they are logically both mathematical constructs, at least to my mind.
Extrapolating from our example of the present tense of the aforementioned verbs with the same root in both ancient Greek (the source) and in Linear B (the target), we may now make the obvious leap from Specific Cross-Correlation to The General Principle of Cross-Correlation, whereby we claim that virtually all regular source verbs in ancient Greek with the same class of roots, regardless of class, must be conjugated the same way in Mycenaean Greek. Again, a comparison of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity helps us place the General Principle of Cross-Correlation into its proper context, but with one crucial difference. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is a theoretical system sufficient in and of itself, whereas the the General Principle of Cross-Correlation is merely one of several consecutive parallel principles all derived from the same theoretical construct, the General Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar (and ultimately Vocabulary).
At this point in time, I am still a long way off from expostulating the General Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar, but we have at last (and at least) arrived at the point where we can apply the General Principle of Cross-Correlation to absolutely any grammatical form in Linear B, whether verbal, adverbial, nominal, prepositional or modifying. Throughout the winter of 2014, I will be implementing the practical application of the first four principles, in their exact order in every case, to the reconstruction of every source verbal construct in ancient Greek for which it is possible to reconstruct the equivalent target construct in Mycenaean Linear B. Reconstructions will proceed from the present tense to the future, the aorist, perfect, optative, all the way through to the participles. A word of warning: it is far from possible to do so for a great many verbal constructs, for the simple reason that there are not enough examples of them on extant Linear B tablets to warrant any accurate reconstruction. In such cases, I simply won’t proceed. Reconstruction of the second person singular of the present tense of regular source (ancient Greek) verbs into their putative target (the second person singular) in Mycenaean Linear B is a case in point. I simply neither have enough evidence nor do I feel qualified “to go there”, as the saying goes. If any of you can crack it, all the more power to you. And if you can, please share your insights with me, because again, as the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one”, to which I would add, many heads are better than two.
In the reconstruction of any grammatical form in its target in Mycenaean Linear B, from its equivalent in its source, ancient Greek, it is necessary to follow each of these steps in order:
1 deconstruction on the Principle of Regression
2 reconstruction on the Principle of Progression
3 correlative reconstruction on the Principle of Correlation
4 complete reconstruction of an entire grammatical class on the Principle of Cross-Correlation
the last of which we no longer need to call the General Principle of Cross-Correlation, because that is what it is anyway.
THEORY 2.3.1:Correlation in Progressive Reconstruction of Linear B Grammar: Present Tense Active of Verbs in KEE: Having Applied the Principle of Regressive Extrapolation from the Ionic/Attic conjugation of e1xein to the same Mycenaean verb, EKEE, we are in the position to conjugate the present tense of most Linear B verbs, of which the stem of the present infinitive * ends with KEE, since almost all verbs of this class must be conjugated exactly the same way as EKEE. This we achieve by correlating the conjugation of almost all Linear B verbs of which the stem of the present infinitive ends with KEE with the conjugation of our paradigm verb, EKEE. This hypothesis is borne out by the correlation of the conjugation of the Mycenaean verb AKEE (Ionic/Attic a1gein), to lead, guide, with that of our paradigm verb, EKEE, to have: Any regular verb ending in KEE, for which the conjugation of the present tense active is derived from and identical to that of the paradigm verb, EKEE, I call a correlative verb. Hence, AKEE is a correlative verb. Theory 184.108.40.206: Corollary As a corollary to Theory 3.3.1, we may safely assume that the conjugation of the paradigm verb (EKEE) and that of any derived, correlative verb, regardless of the verb and regardless of its attested or derivative forms, must be identical. In other words, once we have established the conjugation of the paradigm verb, EKEE, it makes no difference whatsoever whether or not any of its correlative verbs has only some of the attested forms present in the paradigm verb. A rose is a rose is a rose. Thus, the conjugation of any correlative verb must be the same as that of the paradigm verb, even if the correlative verb has only one attested form. I shall soon carry this principle even further. Those of you familiar with Linear B should readily deduce what the next is in the Principle of Correlation. Irregular verbs ending KEE are not susceptible to the principle of correlation. In the next post, I shall display a Table of Present Infinitives ending in KEE for attested verbs found on Linear B tablets (to the best of my knowledge). NOTES: * In Ancient Greek, the infinitive can be in the present, future aorist (simple past) or perfect tense, although in reality the tense of the Greek infinitive has little or nothing to do with time, but with aspect, a peculiarly Greek phenomenon, which I am not defining for the moment, for fear of confusing those of you unfamiliar with ancient Greek. ** The ultima is the last syllable of a word. The penult (penultimate) is the next to last syllable of a word, i.e. the second syllable before the end of a word. The antepenult (antepenultimate) is the next to next last syllable of a word, i.e. the third syllable before the end of a word.
Progressive Linear B: Theory, Methodology & Practice:
In honour of the outstanding achievement of Michael Ventris (1922-1956), who single-handedly deciphered a hitherto “undecipherable” ancient script, Linear B, as being the earliest written form of ancient Greek, which Sir Arthur Evans called “Linear B”, and rightly assumed was a syllabary, but wrongly assumed was not Greek, I intend to build on his all too remarkable achievement by applying what I choose to call the principles of Progressive Linear B, a theory of Linear B grammar, syntax and vocabulary which I am putting to the test for the first time ever. After Michael Ventris’ tragic death in a fatal car crash on 6 September 1956, his loyal collaborator and disciple, Professor John Chadwick (1920-1998) of Cambridge University carried on his work, codifying the Linear B tablets, grammar and vocabulary, confirming once and for all that Mycenaean Linear B was the earliest written form of ancient Greek, predating the earliest Greek alphabet by at least 600 years.
What is Progressive Linear B?
Progressive Linear B constitutes an entirely novel theoretical approach to the syllabary, logograms, phonetics, grammar, syntax and vocabulary of Mycenaean Linear B. By applying the methodology of progressive Linear B, we may be able to reconstruct grammatical forms and vocabulary, which are nowhere attested in the approximately 6,000 extant Linear B tablets from Knossos, Pylos, Thebes, Mycenae, Chania or any other archeological sites where tablets have been discovered to date. The recovery of more tablets in the future may fill in some of the gaps in Linear B grammar and vocabulary, but the likelihood of this seems remote.
Theory, Methodology and Practice:
It is perhaps best to illustrate how I apply the reconstitutive methodology of progressive Linear B to extrapolate unattested grammatical forms from the actual forms which have been found on the tablets. With this in mind, let us turn to the verb, EKEE, to have, for the conjugation of the present tense from forms actually found on the tablets. As far as I know. These are (CLICK to enlarge):
From these three extant forms, I believe it is possible to extrapolate and reconstruct most of the remainder of the conjugation of the present tense of the verb, EKEE, “to have”, (the classical Greek and English conjugations following the reconstructed Linear B forms), with attested forms (as found on tablets) tagged with (A), and Derived forms tagged with (D), as follows:
The Verb EKEE as paradigm for the reconstruction of the present tense active (CLICK to enlarge):
As you can readily see from this reconstruction of the present tense of EKEE, I am unable to make an accurate estimation of the probable form of the second person singular with any degree of certainty, which is why I have omitted it. However, with this sole exception, I have been able to reconstitute the rest of the present tense of the verb,” to have”, into the forms they most likely would have taken in Mycenaean Greek, had any tablets been unearthed with these forms. With the conjugation of EKEE (to have) as our paradigm, I believe it is possible to proceed with the reconstruction of the present tense of all verbs ending with O in first person singular of the active (not middle!) voice .
Thus, in the paradigm for the attested (A) and derivative (D) endings of the present infinitive active & present tense active, the first person singular and plural & the second person plural are derived. Hence, the Linear B forms and their Latin transcriptions for the present infinitive active & the conjugation of the present active (with the exception of the missing second person singular) of verbs ending in “ko” are (CLICK to enlarge):
Of course, my reconstructions are always to be considered as tentative and conjectural. If anyone familiar with Linear B is at odds with my interpretative reconstructions of this or any other grammatical form in Linear B, I encourage the same to comment on my conjectures on this Blog. I will of course answer any questions, issues or doubts you may harbour over my reconstitutive grammar, which I will be gradually building on this Blog, starting with several active verbs in the present tense, based on the paradigm for the conjugation of the present tense of the verb, EKEE.