Gretchen Leonhardt is up against some stiff competition from Urii Mosenkis concerning her so-called proto-Japanese origins of Minoan Linear A: Urii Mosenkis makes a very strong case for Minoan Linear A being proto-Greek, and he does it over and over, like clockwork. This includes his own completely different interpretation of Ms. Leonhardt’s highly contentious decipherment of kuro as so called proto-Japanese. I strongly suggest that Ms. Leonhardt read his articles. He is much more qualified than I am in Linear A (and, I contend, than Ms. Leonhardt as well), and I admit it without a shadow of hesitation. I am forced to revise my predictions about the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A as I outlined them in my first article on Linear A, and I admit openly that Mosenkis is probably right, by and large. Ms. Leonhardt would do well to read all of his articles, as they flat-out contradict everything she claims about the so-called proto-Japanese origins of the Minoan language. I at least have the humility to lay down my cards when I am confronted with convincing evidence to the effect that my own partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A is defective, even though I have already reached many of the same conclusions as Mosenkis. Not that he would ever convince Ms. Leonhardt of the infallibility of her own dubious decipherments of Linear A tablets. I have a very great deal more to say about Ms. Leonhardt’s contentious claims to eventual fame with respect to her clearly flawed interpretations of Linear A tablets, and to drive my points home, I shall have occasion to cite Mosenkis whenever and wherever he contradicts her, and that is always. To view all of Mosenkis’ superbly conceived research papers, please visit his academia.edu account here: Here is a selective electronic bibliography of the highly qualified decipherments Mosenkis has made of several Minoan Linear A inscriptions: Electronic: Mosenkis, Urii. Flourishing of the Minoan Greek State in the Linear A Script 1700 – 14560 BCE. https://www.academia.edu/28708342/FLOURISHING_OF_THE_MINOAN_GREEK_STATE_IN_THE_LINEAR_A_SCRIPT_1700_1450_BCE Mosenkis, Urii. Graeco-Macedonian goddess as Minoan city queen. https://www.academia.edu/26194521/Graeco-Macedonian_goddess_as_Minoan_city_queen Mosenkis,Urii. Linear A-Homeric quasi-bilingual https://www.academia.edu/16242940/Linear_A-Homeric_quasi-bilingual Mosenkis, Urii. ‘Minoan-Greek’ Dialect: Morphology https://www.academia.edu/28433292/MINOAN_GREEK_DIALECT_MORPHOLOGY Mosenkis, Urii. Minoan Greek Farming in Linear A. https://www.academia.edu/27669709/MINOAN_GREEK_FARMING_IN_LINEAR_A_Iurii_Mosenkis Mosenkis, Urii. Minoan Greek hypothesis: A short historiography https://www.academia.edu/27772316/Minoan_Greek_hypothesis_A_short_historiography Mosenkis, Urii. Minoan Greek phonetics and orthography in Linear A https://www.academia.edu/27866235/Minoan_Greek_phonetics_and_orthography_in_Linear_A Mosenkis, Urii. Minoan-Greek Society in Linear A. https://www.academia.edu/27687555/MINOAN_GREEK_SOCIETY_IN_LINEAR_A Mosenkis, Urii. Researchers of Greek Linear A. https://www.academia.edu/31443689/Researchers_of_Greek_Linear_A Mosenkis, Urii. Rhea the Mother of Health in the Arkalokhori Script https://www.academia.edu/31471809/Rhea_the_Mother_of_Health_in_the_Arkalokhori_Script PS I came to almost exactly the same conclusions as Mosenkis re. this inscription, although my Greek translation is different. I wonder what Ms. Leonhardt has to say for herself in light of so many astonishingly insightful decipherments by Urii Mosenkis of a large number of Linear A tablets. I look forward to cogent and rational counter arguments on her part, which stand up to rigorous scientific criteria.
Tag Archive: verbs
KEY POST! The truly formidable obstacles facing us in even a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A: Any attempt, however concerted, at even a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A is bound to meet with tremendous obstacles, as illustrated all too dramatically by this table: These obstacles include, but are not prescribed by: 1. The fact that there are far fewer extant Minoan Linear A tablets and fragments, of which the vast majority are mere fragments (no more than 500), most of them un intelligible, than there are extant tablets and fragments in Mycenaean Linear B (well in excess of 4,500), of which the latter are mostly legible, even the fragments. 2. The fact that Mycenaean Linear B has been completely deciphered, first by Michael Ventris in 1952 and secondly, by myself in closing the last gap in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B, namely, the decipherment of supersyllabograms in my article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B”, in the illustrious international archaeological annual, Archaeology and Science, ISSN 1452-7448, Vol. 11 (2015), pp. 73-108, here: This final stage in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B has effectively brought closure to its decipherment. As illustrated all too conspicuously by this table of apparent roots/stems and/or prefixes of Minoan Linear A lexemes and their lemmas, we are still a long way off from being able to convincingly decipher Minoan Linear A. At the categorical sub-levels of the syntax and semiotics of Minoan Linear A, we cannot even begin to determine which categories to isolate, let alone what these categories are. Allow me to illustrate in discriminative terms: 3. As the table of Minoan Linear A so-called roots & stems + prefixes above all too amply highlights, we cannot even tell which first syllable or which of the first 2 syllables of any of the Minoan Linear A words in this list is/are either (a) roots or stems of the Minoan Linear A lexemes or lemmas which it/they initiate or (b) prefixes of them, even if I have tentatively identified some as the former and some as the latter (See the table). 4. In the case of roots or stems, which ones are roots and which are stems? What is the difference between the two in Minoan Linear A? Let us take a couple of entries as examples to illustrate my point: 4.1 The 3 words beginning with the apparent root or stem asi, (I cannot tell which is which), the first 2 syllables of asidatoi, asijaka & asikira may not even be roots or stems of these words at all, but prefixes of 3 probably unrelated words instead. Who is to know? 4.2 If asidatoi, asijaka & asikira are either nouns or adjectives, what is the gender and number of each one? To say the very least, it is rash to assume that asidatoi is plural, just because it looks like an ancient Greek masculine plural (as for example in Mycenaean Linear B teoi (gods) or masculine plurals in any other ancient Greek dialect for that matter, since that assumption is based on the most likely untenable hypothesis that Minoan Linear A is some form of proto-Greek, in spite of the fact that several current linguistic researchers into Minoan Linear A believe precisely that. The operative word is “believe”, since absolutely no convincing circumstantial evidence has ever come to the fore that Minoan Linear A is some form of proto-Greek. 4.3 The conclusion which I have drawn here, that Minoan Linear A may not be proto-Greek, arises from the fact that almost all of the Minoan words in this table bear little or no resemblance at all even to Mycenaean Greek. 4.5 But there clearly exceptions to the previous hypothesis, these being words such as depa and depu, of which the former is a perfect match with the Homeric, depa, meaning “a cup”. On the other hand, depu is less certain. However, in my preliminary tentative decipherment of 107 Minoan Linear A words (which are to appear in my article to be published in Vol. 12 of Archaeology and Science, 2017-2018), I have come to the tentative conclusion that the ultimate u in almost all Minoan Linear A words is quite likely to be a macro designator. If this were so, depu would be larger than depa. So a translation along the lines of  “a large cup” or “a libation cup” might be in order. Still, I could be dead wrong in this assumption. 4.6 However, the lexeme depa does appear to reveal one probable characteristic of Minoan Linear A grammar, that the ultimate for the feminine singular may very well be a, as in so many other languages, ancient or modern (let alone Greek). If that is the case, then words such as asijaka, asikira, keta, kipa, saja, sina and tamia may possibly all be feminine singular... that is to say, if any, some or even all of them are either nouns or adjectives, clearly a point of contention in and of itself. Who are we to say that one or more of these words may instead be adverbs or some person, singular or plural, of some conjugation in some tense or mood of some Minoan Linear A verb? On the other hand, at least one or more or even most of these words and the other words in this table ending in a may be nouns or adjectives in the feminine singular. But one again, who can say at all for sure? 4.7 If the ultimate u is supposed to be a macro designator, how then are we to account for the fact that  maruku, which very much looks like a (declensional) variant of maru, means “made of wool”, which itself has nothing whatsoever to do with a macro designator, if at the same time the apparent lexeme maru actually does mean “wool”? After all, one might conclude, maru looks a lot like Mycenaean Linear B mari or mare, which as everyone knows, does mean “wool”. But it is just as likely as not that the assumption that maru means “wool”, and its variants maruku “made of wool” ? (a guess at best) and maruri = “with wool” have nothing whatsoever to do with wool in Minoan Linear A. 4.8 In fact, the hypothesis that maruri = “with wool” is based on yet another assumption, namely, that the termination ri is dative singular, similar to the commonplace dative singular oi, ai or i in Mycenaean Linear B. But if that is the case, this implies that Minoan Linear A is probably proto-Greek, for which there is no substantive evidence whatsoever. So we wind up mired in a flat out contradiction in terms, in other words, an inescapable paradox. 4.9a Next, taking all of the words beginning with the root or stem? - or prefix? sina , what on earth are we to make of so many variants? Perhaps this is a conjugation of some verb in some tense or mood. If that is the case, we should expect 6 variations, first, second and third persons singular and plural. Or should we? What about the possible existence of the dual in Minoan Linear A? But here again we find ourselves smack up against the assumption we have just made in 4.5, 4.6, 4.7 & 4.8, that the putative Minoan verb beginning with the so-called root or stem sina is itself proto-Greek. But I have to ask out loud, are you aware of any verb in ancient Greek which begins with the root or stem sina? Well, according to Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, there are in fact 2, which I have Latinized here for ease of access to those of you who cannot read Greek, and these are, (1) sinamoreo (infinitive sinamorein), which means “to damage wantonly” and (2) sinomai, “to plunder, spoil or pillage”. The problem is that neither of these ancient Greek verbs bears any resemblance to or corresponds in any conceivable way with the 7 Minoan Linear A variants post-fixed to sina. So I repeat, for the sake of emphasis, are these 7 all variants on some Minoan Linear A verb or are they not? 4.9b What if on the other hand, all 7 of these variants post-fixed to sina are instead a declension of some Minoan noun or adjective in Linear A? It is certainly conceivable that there are 7 cases in the Minoan language, in view of the fact that plenty of ancient and modern languages have 7 cases or more. Latin has six: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative and vocative. But ancient Greek has only 5, nominative, genitive, dative and accusative and vocative, the ablative absolute (which occurs in Latin) subsumed under the genitive absolute. From this perspective, it would appear quite unlikely that the 7 Minoan Linear A variants on sina are proto-Greek declensions, especially in light of the fact that, once again, none of them bears any resemblance to the ancient Greek, sinapi = “mustard”, sinion = “sieve” or sinos = “hurt, harm, mischief, damage” (nominative). 5. Moving on to taniria and tanirizui , we could of course once again draw the (most likely untenable) conclusion if taniria is a feminine singular noun, then tanirizui must be/is dative singular, following the template for the dative singular in Mycenaean Linear B (i, ai or oi). But once again, there is no word in ancient Greek bearing any resemblance to these critters. And once again, even if Minoan Linear A had a dative singular, why on earth would it have to end in i? 6. However, when we come to the 4 words reza, adureza, kireza and tireza, we are confronted with another phenomenon. 3 of these 4 words (adureza, kireza and tireza) each in turn apparently are prefixed by adu, ki and ti. Makes sense at first sight. However, once again, appearances can be terribly deceiving. Nevertheless, in my preliminary decipherment of Minoan Linear A, I have drawn the tentative conclusion that all four of these words are intimately interconnected. And in the actual context of the few extant Minoan Linear A tablets and fragments in which these 4 terms appear, it very much looks as if they are all terms of measurement. But you will have to await the publication of my article on the tentative decipherment of 107 Minoan Linear A words in Vol. 12 (2017-2018) of Archaeology and Science to discover how I came to this conclusion. 7. Notwithstanding the fact that almost all of the words in this highly selective table of Minoan Linear A lexemes and lemmas (whichever ones are which), with the exception of depa and depu, as well as winu, which may be the Minoan Linear A equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B woino = “wine”, appear not to be proto-Greek, that does not imply that at least a few or even some are in fact proto-Greek, based on this hypothesis: a number of words in Mycenaean Linear B, all of which appear to be proto-Greek, disappeared completely from later ancient Greek dialects. Among these we count a number of Mycenaean Greek words designating some kind of cloth, namely, pawea, pukatariya, tetukowoa and wehano [pg. 94, The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, in Archaeology and Science, Vol. 11 (2016)], plus several other Mycenaean Linear B words listed in the same article, which I do not repeat here due to space limitations. However, I must toss a wrench even into the assumption that the words designating some kinds of cloth (but which kinds we shall never know) are Mycenaean Linear B Greek or even proto-Greek, when they may not be at all! What if a few, some or all of them are in the pre-Greek substratum? If that is the case, are they Minoan, even if none of them appear on any extant Minoan Linear A tablet or fragment? Who is to say they are not? For instance, there is another so called Mycenaean or proto-Greek word, kidapa, which may very well mean “(ash) wood” or “a type of wood”, found only on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01. This word has a suspiciously Minoan ring to it. Just because it does not appear on any extant Minoan Linear A tablet or fragment does not necessarily imply that it is not Minoan or that it at least falls within the pre-Greek substratum. CONCLUSIONS: It must be glaringly obvious from all of the observations I have made on the Minoan Linear A terms in the table above that the more we try to make any sense of the syntactic and semiotic structure of the Minoan language in Linear A, the more and more mired we get in irresolvable contradictions in terms and paradoxes. Moreover, who is to say that the so-called proto-Greek words which surface in Minoan Linear A are proto-Greek at all, since they may instead be pre-Greek substratum words disguised as proto-Greek. We can take this hypothesis even further. Who is to say that the several so-called proto-Greek words we find in Mycenaean Greek, all of which disappeared completely from the ancient Greek lexicon in all Greek dialects after the fall of Mycenae ca. 1200 BCE, are also not proto-Greek but are instead in the pre-Greek substratum or even, if they fall into that substratum, that they are instead Minoan words or words of some other non Indo-European origin? We have landed in a real quagmire. So I find myself obliged to posit the hypothesis that, for the time being at least, any attempt at the putative decipherment of Minoan Linear A is inexorably bound to lead straight to a dead end. I challenge any philologists or linguist specializing in ancient languages to actually prove otherwise even with circumstantial evidence to the contrary.
9 new Minoan Linear A words under U-WI, all of but 1 of which are probably of proto-Greek origin:
The 9 new Minoan Linear A words under U-WI are all probably of proto-Greek origin. As for those terms beginning with the syllabograms WA & WI, I have come to the conclusion that they all begin with digamma, meaning that digamma is even more common in Minoan Linear A than it is in Mycenaean Linear B. If we take into account that every last one of the Minoan Linear A words beginning with digamma would appear without digamma in Mycenaean Linear A, they all are equivalent to their Mycenaean Linear B and ancient Greek counterparts (the latter having dropped digamma for good). For instance,  TERA is almost certainly the ancient volcanic island of Thera, now Santorini, while  WAJA is equivalent to archaic Greek aia = earth, land and  WIJA is fem. pl. = arrows. The only word I have been unable to satisfactorily decipher is , of which I was able to decipher the first 2 syllabograms. You have to read the table to see my translation.
With this, we have come full circle to the end of our remarkable journey towards the decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Now that I have deciphered every last word I believe is of proto-Greek, proto-Hebrew, proto-Semitic or proto-Scythian origin, I have reached a cumulative grand TOTAL of 62 new Minoan Linear A words, expanding my original Minoan Linear A Glossary of 107 words = 21.5% of the total extant Linear B lexicon of 510 terms by my arbitrary count to a TOTAL = 169 words = 33 % of the total Minoan Linear A lexicon, which is exactly the sum and percentage I had predicted! This amounts to what is demonstrably a workable decipherment of the Minoan language, including of its grammar, which had evaded me before. Now all I have to do is to decipher as many of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A, beyond the 9 I have already deciphered. Now that I am armed with 62 new Minoan Linear A words, I am quite sure that I shall be able to decipher quite a few more of the supersyllabograms, and with that goal accomplished, I shall have effectively and once and for all deciphered the Minoan language.
3 more Minoan Linear A words under TE-TU of possible or probable proto-Greek origin: While I have listed 7 Minoan Linear A words of potential proto-Greek origin in this table, only 3 of them pass the test of credibility. It is absolutely de rigueur to read this table from top to bottom to get the entire gist of my conclusions.
7 more Minoan Linear A words under PA-PAI, 6 of possible proto-Greek origin & 1 of proto-Scythian origin: Of these 7 new Minoan Linear A words under PA-PAI, 6 are of possible proto-Greek origin, while 1  is, surprisingly, probably the (proto-) Scythian infinitive pata = the ancient Greek infinitive, kteinein = “to slaughter, slay”. Of the remaining 7, 2  &  are very likely variant spellings of the same word Paean, which may mean “physician” or “saviour”, but since the attributed meaning “physician” is not standard Greek, the decipherment is surely open to question. The standard Mycenaean Linear B word for “physician” is iyate, equivalent to the ancient Greek iater (Latinized).  PAKU may possibly be an archaic Minoan Linear A word equivalent to ancient Greek pakhos (Latinized), but since the Minoan Linear A ultimate U, while attested everywhere, can only speculatively be linked with the ancient Greek ultimate OS (Latinized), PAKU may not be a valid proto-Greek word at all. But if it is , [2a] PAKUKA may very well be the feminine singular for the same.  PARIA is so close to the ancient Greek, pareia, that it is quite likely it means “the cheek piece (of a helmet)”, especially in view of the fact that military terminology is very common in Mycenaean Linear B, and may thus have been so in Minoan Linear A. But this is not necessarily the case.  PASU, once again terminating in the commonplace Linear A ultimate U, may possibly be the Minoan Linear A equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B paso, which is neut. singular for “everything”, but this decipherment is speculative.  PAIDA is possibly an archaic proto-Greek form of the ancient Greek paidia = “children”.  PAISASA may be an archaic form of the second pers. sing. aorist (simple past tense) of the Greek verb paizo = “to play, to engage in sport”, which is itself in turn the verb corresponding to  the putative noun, PAIDA = “children”. In short, every last one of these decipherments of 6 Minoan Linear A words of possible proto-Greek origin (excluding , which is (proto-) Scythian, is speculative. However, if all of them are on target, which is doubtful, the potential total number of Minoan Linear A words of putative proto-Greek and Scythian origin rises to 42 (or less).
The ubiquitous present participle passive in Mycenaean Linear B & in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects: Here is a chart of attested (A) present participles passive in Mycenaean Greek found on Linear B tablets, and derived (D) present participles passive nowhere to be found extant in Mycenaean Greek: As anyone familiar with ancient Greek can attest to, the present participle passive was ubiquitous in Mycenaean Linear B and in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects. Since (a) students and researchers with ancient Greek understand the full functionality of the present participle passive and (b) since all others not familiar with any ancient Greek dialect do not understand how the present participle passive functions, I am not bothering to provide examples of its usage in any ancient Greek dialect... although perhaps I should.
KEY! The all-pervasive present participle active in Mycenaean Linear B & in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects: Table of attributed (A) and derived (D) present participles actives in Mycenaean Linear B & in Attic Greek: NOTE: It is crucial that you read all of the notes in this table in their entirety; otherwise, a sound grasp of the conjugation of the present participle, especially of the feminine singular, in Mycenaean Linear B will not make any sense whatsoever. The present participle active was all-pervasive and extremely common in both Mycenaean Linear B & in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects. It was heavily used to express continuous action in the present tense as well as accompaniment, i.e. to indicate that someone or something was with someone or something else. Thus, in Mycenaean Linear B, the phrase eo qasireu could mean either “being an overlord” or “with an overlord”, just as in Attic Greek eon basileus could mean either “being king” or “with the king”. As I have pointed out in the table above, the word qasireu never meant “king” in Mycenaean Linear B, since king was always wanaka. The qasireu was a lower ranking supernumerary, something equivalent to an overlord or baron. Another point which we simply must keep uppermost in mind is the fact that digamma (pronounced something like “wau” or “vau”, was extremely common in both Mycenaean Linear B and its kissing cousin dialect, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, only falling permanently out of use in ancient Greek after the decline of these two dialects (Linear B, ca. 1600-1200 BCE & Linear C, ca. 1100-400 BCE). As is clearly attested by the table above, the feminine singular form of the present participle active, which was characterized by the all-pervasive presence of digamma in Mycenaean Linear B & in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, had completely shed digamma even as early as the artificial amalgam, Homeric Epic Greek, even though digamma was still pronounced in the Iliad.
The 3 derived (D) tenses of active optative of athematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as represented by the template verb, didomi: Here is the chart of the 3 derived (D) tenses of active optative athematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as represented by the template verb, didomi: Note that in the second example sentence in Mycenaean Greek, since the verb didomi is in the future active optative, the Mycenaean Linear B infinitive nikase = to defeat, must also be in the future. This is just another one of those remarkable eminently logical subtleties of ancient Greek, including Mycenaean. As you can see for yourself, I have been unable to reconstruct a paradigm table for the perfect active optative of athematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as represented by the template verb, didomi. Since I have been unable to find any instances of that tense in any ancient Greek dialect, I am driven to conclude that it could not have existed in Mycenaean Linear B either. This is in contrast with the paradigm table for the active optative tenses of thematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, of which there are 4, as attested to here: Since in this previous post I outlined almost all of the uses of the active optative in ancient Greek, including Mycenaean Linear B, there is no point rehashing these uses here. Simply refer back to the post to glean as full a grasp the multiple uses of the active optative as you can, on the understanding of course that you are already familiar with least Attic grammar. If you are not versed in ancient Greek grammar, even if you are in modern Greek (in which there is no optative mood), there is really not much point to mastering all of the uses of the active optative in ancient Greek, except in so far as a basic understanding at least may offer you at least some insight into the more subtle and arcane operations of ancient Greek, of which there are plenty, as you might have already imagined by this point.
CRITICAL POST! The 4 major tenses of the derived (D) optative mood of thematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B: Here is the paradigm of the 4 major tenses of the optative mood in Mycenaean Linear B, based on the derived (D) template verb, naie (ancient Greek, naiein) = to dwell in, inhabit: Note that we have provided two examples of derivative (D) sentences in this table of the paradigms for the 4 tenses of the optative mood in Mycenaean Linear B and ancient Greek in order to facilitate a better understanding of its functionality. As can be seen from the table above, there are only 4 primary tenses for the optative mood of thematic (and indeed for athematic) verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as well as in ancient Greek. These are: the optative present the optative future the optative aorist (or simple past) the optative perfect There is no optative imperfect. It is a contradiction in terms. How is it possible that something was in fact happening, kept on happening or used to happen, when it is readily apparent that the optative mood always runs contrary to reality. The optative mood only and always refers to potentialities or possibilities, never to actual situations, which of course strictly call for the indicative mood. The optative mood has no equivalent whatsoever in any modern Centum or Occidental language, including modern Greek. It lapsed out of use before the advent of modern Greek. The optative mood sometimes plays a similar role to the subjunctive mood in ancient Greek, but by no means always. As a matter of course, we shall not be deriving a table of the tenses of the subjunctive mood in Mycenaean Linear B, for two conclusive reasons: 1. The subjunctive mood occurs nowhere on any Linear B tablets, i.e. it is not attested, or so it would seem so... because... 2. The subjunctive mood is virtually indistinguishable from the active in Mycenaean Linear B, whether or not we are dealing with thematic or athematic verbs, for the simple reason that Mycenaean Linear B cannot distinguish between short and long vowels. In other words, while ancient Greek allows for the subjunctive mood, which calls for the lengthening of the vowel in any person of the present tense, this is impossible in Mycenaean Linear B. So there would simply be no point in attempting to reconstruct a mood which could not even be observed on Mycenaean Linear B tablets, even it were present. But it never is to be found on any extant tablet, i.e. it is nowhere attested (A), because Mycenaean Linear B tablets almost exclusively deal with inventories, which are by nature factual, thereby automatically calling for the indicative, and precluding the subjunctive. It may seem counter-intuitive to find the optative on at least one Linear B tablet, but there is a tenable explanation for this phenomenon. Since the tablet in question deals with religious matters, it makes sense for the optative to be present. For instance, it is possible to say in Mycenaean Linear B, May we all worship the Goddess of the Winds. -or- If only they believed in the gods! These sentences make perfect sense in Mycenaean Greek. But this still leaves us with the burning question, what on earth is the optative mood? This is no easy question to answer. But I shall do my level best. To begin with, it is highly expedient to consult the Wikipedia article on the optative mood in ancient Greek: since doing so will expedite your understanding of the functions of the optative. Essentially, these are as follows: 1. to express a wish on behalf of the welfare of someone, e.g.: May you be happy. May you live long and be prosperous. 2. to express the wish or hope,... if only (which is contrary to reality, as it never happened anyway, no matter how much or how dearly one might have wished it had happened), e.g.: If only the Mycenaeans had not conquered Knossos. If only Donald Trump had not won the U.S. Election! (Fat chance of that!) 3. The potential optative expresses something that would or could happen in a hypothetical situation in the future, e.g. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fortress of Mycenae were to fall in the next few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Donald Trump were impeached. (Good luck for that one!) 4. Potential in the aorist or the past tense, e.g. The king of Knossos fled the city for fear that he might be caught and imprisoned. 5. For purpose clauses in past time, the optative can follow the conjunction so that: The king has brought us all together so that we might discuss the situation regarding the possibility of an outbreak of war. 6. After verbs expressing fear: I was afraid that he had gone out of his mind. 7. for formal benedictions or prayers (primarily in the New Testament), e.g.: May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. May the Lord grant you mercy. There are even more uses of the optative, but I do not wish to belabour the point. Suffice it to say, this mood is extremely flexible in ancient Greek. It always references actions or situations contrary to reality. It is often quite difficult for us in this present day and age to really get a grip on the various functionalities of the optative tense in ancient Greek, but get a grip we must if we are ever to really, clearly grasp what ancient Greek sentences relying on the optative actually mean, once we have embarked on that most challenging of journeys, to learn ancient Greek, to easy matter, let me tell you from personal experience.
CRITICAL POST: The active middle voice template, akeomai = I repair or I make amends for... in the five major tenses in Mycenaean Linear B & ancient Greek: In all of the ancient East Greek dialects, right on down from Mycenaean Linear B to Arcado-Cypriot, its closest cousin (ca. 1100-400 BCE), through to Homeric Greek (ca. 800 BCE, a hodgepodge amalgam of various early ancient Greek dialects), to Ionic and Attic Greek (ca. 500-400 BCE), right on through to Hellenistic Greek (ca. 300-100 BCE) to New Testament Koine Greek (ca. 100 AD) and even to modern Greek, the active middle voice was extremely common, playing an indispensable role in the expression of verbal actions. In fact, it was probably even more common than the standard active voice, which we have already covered under the verb kauo = to burn. In Mycenaean Linear B and in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects, the template for active middle voice is here represented by the verb, akeomai = I repair -or- I make amends (for myself). The 5 major indicative active tenses represented are, once again: the present active middle voice the future active middle voice the imperfect active middle voice the aorist (or simple past) active middle voice the perfect active middle voice all conjugated in full in this table: What is the function of the active middle voice in Mycenaean Linear B & ancient (as well as modern) Greek? It is a very good thing to ask — in fact, it is crucial to the proper understanding of the critical difference between the standard active voice and the middle voice of verbs in Greek. The two voices are simply not the same. The standard active voice, as in the verb, kauo (present), kauso (future), ekauon (imperfect), ekausa (aorist or simple past) & kekausa (perfect) simply indicates something that someone does, will do, was doing, did or has done, with no further qualifications. The active middle voice is quite another kettle of fish. It is much more active (quite literally!) and much more dynamic. The active middle voice denotes any of the following activities: 1. Any action undertaken by the subject, in which the subject takes a powerful personal interest in whatever action he or she is undertaking; 2. Any action undertaken by the subject, in which the subject acts strictly on his or her own behalf, without any direct influence of or consideration of whatever anyone else may think or adjudge about said action; 3. Any action undertaken by the subject, in which the subject acts independently, of his or her own volition, regardless; 4. Any action undertaken by the subject, which is of a reflexive nature, ie. by means of which the subject does something for or to oneself. It goes without saying that an active present voice as so utterly complex as the active middle voice exists in no modern language, except for the fourth (4th.) application. The middle voice was of primal importance to the ancient Greeks because they were highly individualistic and egocentric (as opposed to being egoistic, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the active middle voice, except in rare instances). Reflexive verbs (4) are common in practically all modern languages. Thus, we have: in English: I wash myself, you wash yourself, we wash ourselves etc. et en français : je me lave, tu te laves, nous nous lavons – et ainsi de suite, to cite just two examples. On the other hand, the strict emphasis on personal responsibility for one’ s actions which is the preeminent characteristic of the active middle voice in Mycenaean Linear B and in ancient and modern Greek is nowhere to be found in modern Centum (Occidental) Indo-European languages such as English, French, Italian, Spanish, German etc. etc. In order to express the emphasis on direct personal responsibility innate to the active middle voice in ancient and modern Greek, modern languages have to resort to (sometimes cumbrous) circumlocutions. For instance, to express the first (1.) function of the active middle voice in ancient Greek, English has to resort to this circumlocution: I am taking a powerful personal interest in repairing... etc. And for the second (2.) function, this is what English has to resort to: I am acting strictly on my own behalf in repairing (regardless of what anyone else thinks of it) And for the third (3.) function: I am acting entirely on my own (or independently) to repair etc. Quite the circumlocutions in comparison with the active middle voice in ancient Greek, which is always so compactly and eloquently expressed by a single word, regardless of tense! Consequently, it is virtually impossible to grasp the several meanings (at least 4) inherent to the active middle voice in ancient Greek, unless one has a firm grasp on the 4 principal functions I have outlined here. I repeat, the distinction between the simple active voice and the active middle voice in both ancient and modern Greek is fundamental to a proper understanding of the divergent functioning of these two active tenses, the simple active and the active middle.
The virtual invariability of the most archaic athematic MI verbs in ancient Greek from 1200 BCE (Linear B) – New Testament Koine Greek (ca. 100 AD): The following table clearly illustrates that the most archaic of ancient Greek verbs, namely, athematic verbs in MI, underwent only barely perceptible changes over a span of 1,700 years. This is because these verb forms were already fully developed even as early as in the Mycenaean Greek dialect, written in Linear B (ca. 1600-1200 BCE). This phenomenon falls under the purview of diachronic historical linguistics, whereby the term diachronic means “linguistic change or lack of it over an extended period of time”. The importance of the minimal changeability of archaic athematic MI verbs cannot be over stressed. Regardless of the period and of any particular dialect of ancient East Greek (early: Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot, middle: Homeric Epic, an amalgam of various dialects, Classical: Ionic & Attic) & late (Hellenistic & Koine Greek), very little change occurred. In fact, only the second & third person singular underwent any change at all. In Mycenaean Greek alone, the second person singular was didosi & the third person singular was didoti. In all subsequent dialects, the form of the 2nd. person singular became that for the third, while the second person singular itself morphed into didos in all ancient East Greek dialects pursuant to Mycenaean. This was the one and only change the conjugation of the present tense of archaic athematic verbs such as didomi underwent diachronically from 1,600 BCE to 100 AD. The verb didomi effectively serves as the template for the conjugation of the present active of all athematic verbs in MI throughout this historical period. This is just one notable aspect of progressive (D) derived Linear B grammar. There are many others, which of course we shall address in the gradual reconstruction of ancient Mycenaean Greek grammar over the next few months.
Reduplication in the perfect active of the verb pine = to drink, derived (D) from the attested (A) perfect active of kaue = to burn in Mycenaean Linear B: The attested perfect active of the Mycenaean Linear B verb, kaue = to burn, serves as the template upon which any number of derived (D) verbs in the active perfect may be extrapolated. This table illustrates this process: In order to form the active perfect tense, the ancient Greeks usually (but not always) resorted to the technique of reduplication, whereby the first syllable of the verb is prepended to the initial syllable of the conjugation of the same verb in the aorist (simple past), with this proviso, that the orthography of first syllable, or in Mycenaean Linear B, the vowel of the first syllabogram, is morphed into e from the initial vowel of the first syllable of the aorist, which is usually a or o in the aorist, prior to reduplication. Thus, in Mycenaean Linear B, the first syllabogram must reflect the same change. Hence, ekausa (aorist) = I burned (once only) becomes kekausa (perfect) = I have burned, while epoka (aorist) = I drank (once only) becomes pepoka= I have drunk. This transformation is critical, since both the aorist and the perfect active tense are very common in ancient Greek.
For the first time in history, the conjugation of athematic MI verbs in 5 active tenses in Mycenaean Linear B: We now continue with the conjugations of 5 active tenses for athematic MI verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, represented here by the athematic verb, didomi (Latinized), which was extremely commonplace right on down from Mycenaean Greek through to Attic and Hellenistic Greek and beyond, to New Testament Greek. We can safely confirm that the conjugation of athematic MI verbs underwent almost no perceptible changes (if any at all) from the Mycenaean era to the New Testament. The reason for this is apparent. Since the conjugation of athematic MI verbs was already cemented, in other words, fossilized, by as early as the Mycenaean era, there would have been no need whatsoever to change, modify or supposedly improve on its conjugations. For this reason alone, regressive extrapolation of the conjugations of 5 active tenses of athematic MI verbs is a simple matter. So in the case of athematic MI verbs, the method of retrogressive extrapolation we normally apply to grammatical elements in Mycenaean Linear B derived (D) from later ancient Greek dialects does not apply. Since the conjugations of MI verbs were already fully consolidated in Mycenaean Greek, it is quite beside the point. It The 5 tenses of the indicative active we have accounted for in our table of conjugations of athematic MI verbs are: the present active the future active the imperfect active the aorist active (both first and second) the perfect active as illustrated in this table of paradigms: As I have already pointed out in the previous post on thematic active verbs in 5 tenses, I have deliberately omitted the pluperfect tense active, as it was extremely rare in all ancient Greek dialects. Note that it is assumed that scholars, researchers and linguists reviewing our tables of conjugations of verbs in Mycenaean Greek are well versed in ancient Greek, and hence familiar with the subtle distinction between the first and second aorist (simple past tense). For this reason, we shall not attempt to differentiate between the two. Should anyone wish to do so, that person can refer him or herself to the Wikipedia articles on this topic. As for those of you who are not yet versed in ancient Greek, most notably, the Attic dialect, you will have to learn ancient Greek in the first place before you can even hope to grasp the distinction between the first and second aorist, let alone understand so many other elements of ancient Greek grammar.
For the first time in history, the complete conjugations of 5 major derived (D) active indicative tenses of thematic verbs in Linear B progressive grammar: The tenses of active thematic verbs are: the present indicative active the future indicative active the imperfect indicative active the aorist indicative active the perfect indicative active Here is are the 2 tables (A & B) of the complete derived (D) conjugations of these 5 tenses of the active thematic verb kaue = the archaic ancient Greek kauein (Latinized), “to set on fire”: The ability of a linguist specializing in Mycenaean Linear B, i.e. myself, to cognitively restore no fewer than 5 active tenses of thematic verbs by means of progressive Mycenaean Greek derived (D) grammar boils down to one impressive feat. However, I have omitted the pluperfect indicative active, since it was rarely used in any and all of the numerous dialects of ancient Greek, right on down from Mycenaean to Arcado-Cypriot to Aeolic, Ionic and Attic Greek, and indeed right on through the Hellenistic and New Testament eras. So since the pluperfect tense is as rare as it is, why bother reconstructing it? At least, this is my rationale. Other researchers and linguists specializing in Mycenaean Linear B may disagree. That is their perfect right. Is Mycenaean Greek in Linear B a proto-Greek dialect? Absolutely not! There are still a few researchers and historical linguists specializing in Mycenaean Linear B who would have us believe that Mycenaean Greek is a proto-Greek dialect. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that so many fully developed grammatical forms are attested (A) on Linear B tablets confirms once and for all that Mycenaean Greek is the earliest intact East Greek dialect. Among the numerous grammatical forms attested (A) in Mycenaean Greek, we count:  verbs, including infinitives active and some passive for both thematic and athematic MI verbs; a sufficient number of verbs either in the active present or aorist tenses; a considerable number of participles, especially perfect passive; and even the optative case in the present tense,  nouns & adjectives, for which we find enough attested (A) examples of these declined in the nominative singular and plural, the genitive singular and plural and the dative/instrumental/ablative singular & plural. The accusative singular and plural appear to be largely absent from the Linear B tablets, but appearances can be deceiving, as I shall soon convincingly demonstrate. Also found on the extant Linear B tablets are the comparative and superlative of adjectives, and  almost all of the prepositions to be found in later ancient Greek dialects. Taken altogether, these extant attributed (A) grammatical elements form a foundation firm enough to recreate templates for all of the aforementioned elements in a comprehensive derived (D) progressive Mycenaean Linear B grammar. If you are still not convinced, I simply refer you to the previous post, where examples of many of these grammatical elements are accounted for. Moreover, once I have completely recompiled ancient Mycenaean Greek grammar, you should be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mycenaean Greek was the very first true ancient Greek dialect. What is progressive derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar? By progressive I mean nothing less than as full a restoration as possible of the corpus of ancient Mycenaean Greek grammar by means of the procedure of regressive extrapolation of the (exact) equivalents of any and all grammatical elements I shall have reconstructed from the two major sources of slightly later archaic Greek, namely: (a) the Arcado-Cypriot dialect, in which documents were composed in the Linear C syllabary, a direct offshoot of Mycenaean Linear B (Even though the two syllabaries look scarcely alike, the symbolic values of their syllabograms are in almost all instances practically identical), and from so-called Epic Greek, which was comprised of diverse elements haphazardly drawn from various archaic Greek dialects, in other words yielding nothing less than a mess, but a viable one nonetheless. At this juncture, I must emphatically stress that, contrary to common opinion among ancient Greek literary scholars not familiar with either Mycenaean Linear B or Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, the gap between the scribal Linear B tablets and the next appearance of written ancient Greek is not around 400 years (1200-800 BCE), as they would have it, but only one century. Why so? Hard on the heels of the collapse of the Mycenaean Empire and of its official script, Linear B, ca. 1200 BCE, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C first appeared in writing a mere 100 years after, give or take. The revised timeline for the disappearance and reappearance of written Greek is illustrated here: If this is not convincing enough, Mycenaean Greek’s intimate cousin, Arcado-Cypriot, of which the syllabary is Linear C, is even more closely related to Mycenaean Greek than Ionic is to Attic Greek. In fact, you could say that they are kissing cousins. Now it stands to reason that, if Arcado-Cypriot in Linear C is a fully developed East Greek dialect, as it most certainly is (subsisting at least 700 years, from 1100 – 400 BCE), then it follows as day does night that Mycenaean Linear B must also be a fully functional East Greek dialect (in fact, the first). The two factors addressed above should lay to rest once and for all that Mycenaean Greek is merely proto-Greek. That is sheer nonsense.
CRITICAL POST: What is Mycenaean Linear B progressive grammar & how do we derive it from attested (A) grammatical forms? We must first extrapolate as many elements of attested (A) grammar from extant Linear B tablets as we possibly can before even thinking of addressing Mycenaean Linear B derived (D) progressive grammar. I shall significantly expand this post in a new article soon to appear on my academia.edu account. Pardon the pun, but keep posted. This article, which is to serve as the formal introduction to derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar, is bound to have a decisive impact on the Linear B research community. If this is not enough, just wait until researchers are confronted with the entire corpus of derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar, which is much larger and more comprehensive than anyone can currently imagine, apart from myself. Since no one to date has ever assayed a relatively complete reconstruct of Mycenaean grammar, THAT will really hit home! The essays on derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar will need to be subdivided by grammatical categories, verbs first, then nouns, etc., to prevent us from overwhelming our readers with the substantial mass of data we shall be covering. Before we can even pose the question, “What is Mycenaean Linear B derived (D) progressive grammar?”, we must account for any and all traces of Mycenaean grammar on the extant tablets. If we are to rely on the Mycenaean Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance, for signs of Mycenaean grammar, we are bound to be somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, there remains on the Linear B tablets a corpus of Mycenaean grammar, considerably more substantial than we might have suspected, which is sufficiently viable for the reconstruction from the ground up of significant corpus of Mycenaean derived (D) grammar. In fact, the attributed (A) elements of Mycenaean grammar on extant Linear B tablets provide us with more than enough ammunition to reconstruct a wide spectrum of derived (D) Mycenaean grammar, as we shall soon see. From scanning through Chris Tselentis’ splendid Linear B Lexicon and other extant sources of Mycenaean Greek, I have been able to isolate the following snippets of extant, i.e. attributed (A), Mycenaean grammar. These I have categorized by the discrete grammatical categories with which we are all familiar. Synopsis: NOTE that I am resorting to Prof. L.R. Palmer’s convention of LATINIZING all Linear B syllabograms, hence, words and phrases, since listing as many Mycenaean Linear B as I have even for attested (A) grammatical forms is a very tedious process not worth my trouble, let alone anyone else’s. However, I am providing in this post a few examples of actual attested (A) Linear B words, along with the complete derived (D) conjugation of didomi (I give), derived from the attested (A) didosi (they give) below. Here is the conjugation in the present active tense of the athematic verb didomi, fully restored: Here you see examples of some of the grammatical forms listed in the attested (A) glossary below: For Prof. L.R. Palmer’s extremely comprehensive glossary of Mycenaean Linear B words, see The Interpretation of Mycenaean Texts (1963), pp 403-466. Apart from Chris Tselentis’ Linear B Lexicon, this is far and away the most useful source of Mycenaean Linear B. KEY to abbreviations: ps = person singular; pp = person plural; f = future; o = optative; dat = dative; pi (siffix)= instrumental or primeval ablative case e.g teukepi = with instruments or paraphernalia Verbs: Infinitives: Present: akee = to send akere = to gather, collect apieke – to be covered all over apudoke = to deliver ekee = to have, hold eree = to row ereuterose = to set free, deliver from pere = to bring piriye = to saw woze = to work Future passive: dekasato = to be accepted Future: eureuterose = to set free (in the future) Present indicative active: ake 3 ps = he or she guides (sends?) apeeke 3ps = he or she lets go apieke 3ps = it contains??? apudoke 3ps = he or she delivers didosi 3pp = they give, devote, grant dose(i) 3ps = he or she gives dososi 3pp = they give ekamate 3ps = he or she stays eke 3ps = he or she has eko 2ps = I have ekome 1pp = we have ekote 2pp = you have ekosi 3pp they have eesi 3ps 3pp = he or she is, there is/they are? ereutero 1ps = I set free kitiyesi 3pp = they cultivate operosi 3pp = they owe oudidosi 3pp = they do not give, are not giving pasi 3pp = they say pere = he or she brings piriyo = I saw (i.e. a log) ponike 3ps = he or she decorates with a griffin teke = he or she puts or sets toqide 3ps = it has spirals weke = he or she works wide = he or she sees zeukesi 3pp = they yoke or span Present passive: ekeyoto = they are included Present optative: epikowo 3ps = that he or she may pay attention to euketo 3ps = that he or she may wish (for) qiriyato = that he or she may buy uruto = he or she may guard Aorist: didosi = they gave = 3rd. person plural present tense odoke = he or she gave oporo = they owed teke = he or she assigned owide (wide) = he or she saw Participles: Present Active: apeaso/a 3ps = absent diuyo/a or diwiyo/a 3ps = belonging eko/ekontes 3ps/3pp = having eo 3ps = being iyote 3pp = coming kesenewiyo/a = hospitable (a divine epithet) opero 3ps & operoso/a + operote 3pp = owing oromeno/a = watching over ouwoze = not working temidweta/te = having rims, i.e. with rims tetukuwoa/tetukuwea2 = well prepared, ready (for distribution on the market) toqideyo/a + toqideweso/a = with spirals zesomeno/a = boiling Present passive: anono = not rented audeweso/a = decorated with rosettes? dedemeno/a = bound dedomeno/a = (things) being offered dedukuyo/a = being apprenticed to epididato/a = distributed erapameno/a = sown (as of cloth) ereutero/a = set free kuparisiyo/ya = made of cypress pitiro2weso/a = adorned with feathers zeukesi 3ppdat = yoked, spanned wozomeno/a = being fashioned/well made Passive: tetukuwo/a = well prepared, ready Cf. etoimo/a (D) Perfect passive: aetito/a = not used? akitito/a = untitled? amoiyeto/a = just delivered anamoto/a = not assembled apato/a = not sown? emito/a = hired, paid epididato/a = distributed epizoto/a = bound, tied on top of iyeto/a = delivered, offered up (religious connotation) kakodeto/a = bound with copper? kekaumeno/a = burned, razed to the ground metakekumeno/a = dismantled? qeqinomeno/a = made by twisting Future perfect passive: ewepesesomena = things to be returned * pi (siffix)= instrumental or primeval * ablative case: We refer to the ablative case as primeval, since it had completely disappeared from ancient Greek as early as Homer. teukepi = with instruments or paraphernalia seremokarapi = decorated with sirens In the next post, we shall be addressing the present, future, imperfect, aorist and perfect tenses of thematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B.
CRITICAL POST! Progressive Linear B grammar: active thematic aorist infinitives in Mycenaean Linear B: Phase 3 With the addition of this table of active thematic aorist infinitives: we have completed the first 3 stages in the reconstruction of the grammar of natural Mycenaean Greek as it was spoken between ca. 1600 (or earlier) and 1200 BCE. These stages are: 1. the present infinitive 2. the future infinitive & 3. the aorist infinitive. Although there were other infinitives in ancient Greek, they were rarely used, and so we are omitting them from our progressive grammar. While it is a piece of cake to physically form the aorist infinitive either in ancient alphabetic Greek or in Mycenaean Linear B, the same cannot be said for the innate meaning of the aorist infinitive. What does it signify? Why would anyone even bother with a past infinitive when a present one does just fine? What are the distinctions between the present, future and aorist infinitives in ancient Greek and in Mycenaean Linear B? ANALYSIS & SYNOPSIS: What is the meaning of the aorist infinitive or, put another way, what does it signify? While the use of the present infinitive corresponds exactly with infinitives in almost all other Occidental languages, ancient and modern, the same cannot be said of the future and aorist infinitives in ancient Greek and Mycenaean, for which there are, in so far as I know, no equivalents in modern Centum languages. The impact of understanding the future infinitive on grasping the aorist in ancient Greek. First, the future infinitive. We feel obliged to review its function in order to prepare you for the even more esoteric aorist infinitive. The future infinitive is used when the sentence is in either the present or the future. How can it be used with a verb in the present tense? The reason is relatively straightforward to grasp. If the speaker or writer wishes to convey that he or she expects or intends the infinitive modifying the principle verb to take effect immediately, then the infinitive too must be in the present tense. But if the same author expects or intends the action the infinitive conveys to take place in the (near) future, then the infinitive must be future, even though the main verb is in the present tense. The distinction is subtle but critical to the proper meaning or intent of any Greek sentence employing a future infinitive with a verb in the present tense. The best way to illustrate this striking feature of ancient Greek is with English language parallels, as we did in the post on future infinitives. But to make matters as clear as possible, we repeat, here in the present tense, the 2 sentences I previously posted in Latinized Linear B along with the English translation. First we have, Konoso wanaka eqetai qe katakause etoimi eesi. The King and his military guard are prepared to set about burning Knossos to the ground. Compare this with: Konoso wanaka eqetai qe katakaue etoimi eesi. The King and his military guard are prepared to burn Knossos to the ground. In the first instance, the subjects (King and military guard) are prepared to raze Knossos in the near future, but not right away. This why I have translated the infinitive katakause as – to set about burning Knossos to the ground. But in the second case, the King and his military guard are prepared to burn Knossos to the ground immediately. The future does not even enter into the equation. In the second example, we have: Wanaka tekotono wanakatero peraise poroesetai. The King is allowing the carpenters to soon set about finishing the palace. (future infinitive)... versus Wanaka tekotono wanakatero peraie poroesetai. (present infinitive)... The King allows the carpenters to finish the palace. (i.e. right away). The distinction is subtle. But if you are to understand ancient Greek infinitives, including Mycenaean, you must be able to make this distinction. The question is, why have I resorted to repeating the synopsis of the future infinitive, when clearly the subject of our present discussion is the aorist or past infinitive? The answer is... because if you cannot understand how the future infinitive works in ancient Greek and Mycenaean, then you will never grasp how the aorist infinitive functions. What is the aorist infinitive and how does it function? The aorist infinitive describes or delineates actions or states dependent on the main verb which have already occurred in the (recent) past. It can be used with principal verbs in the present or past (aorist or imperfect), but never with those in the future. Once again, the distinction between the present and aorist active thematic infinitives is, if anything, even subtler than is that between the future and present infinitives. Allow me to illustrate with two examples in Latinized Linear B. First: Wanaka poremio taneusai edunato. The King was in a position to have put an end to the war (clearly implying he did not put an end to it). Note that the main verb, edunato = was able to, is itself in the past imperfect tense. But this sentence can also be cast in the present tense, thus: Wanaka poremio taneusai dunetai. The King is in a position to have put an end to the war. In this case, the use of the aorist infinitive is not mandatory. But if it is used, it still signifies that the aorist infinitive operates in the past, and it is quite clear from the context that he could have ended the war, but never did. Compare this with the use of the present infinitive in the same sentence. Wanaka poremio taneue dunetai. The King is able to put an end to the war (immediately!) To complicate matters even further, even if the main verb is in the simple past (aorist) or the imperfect (also a past tense), you can still use the present infinitive, as in: Wanaka poremio taneue edunato. The King was able to put an end to the war (right away). This clearly calls for the present infinitive, which always takes effect at the very same time as the primary verb. Although the analysis and synopsis above makes perfect sense to students and researchers familiar with ancient Greek, it is difficult for newcomers to ancient Greek to grasp the first time they are confronted with it. But patience is the key here. By dint of a large number of examples, it will eventually sink in. So as the old saying goes, do not panic!
Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in U = 516 In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in U. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic active present infinitives starting with the Greek letter U: This constitutes the very last table of present infinitives active we are posting. The grand total of present infinitives we have tabulated thus comes to 516. Of course, this is but a small representative cross-sampling of the present infinitives we could have covered. However, I decided from the very outset to limit myself to those present infinitives which would be the most likely to have been used the most frequently in natural, spoken and written Mycenaean Greek. So the list is of necessity arbitrary. It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were. The GRAND TOTAL of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted comes to 516. Now that we are finished with both present and future infinitives active in Mycenaean Greek, the next step is to address aorist or simple past infinitives. If anything, the aorist infinitive active, which was used very frequently in ancient Greek, right on down from the Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects to the Ionic, Athenian and New Testament Greek, is conceptually rather difficult for modern day students of Greek to grasp. However, we shall do our best to make the experience less painful. Once we have tabulated a dozen or so examples of aorist infinitives, we shall then proceed to reconstruct Mycenaean Greek grammar from the ground up. This is a huge undertaking which of course has never been assayed before. But it is my profound belief and conviction that it must be done. The post immediately following the one on the aorist infinitive will introduce the outline of all aspects of Mycenaean grammar I intend to cover... and there is a lot of it.
Progressive Mycenaean Linear B derived (D) grammar, Phase 2: the future infinitive
In the table below you will find the future infinitive form of thematic (so-called regular) verbs in ancient Greek along with their counterparts in derived (D) Mycenaean Greek. The Mycenaean Greek is said to be derived (D), since there are no attested (A) forms of future infinitives on any extant Linear B tablets. However, the future infinitive is so easily formed from the present that it is certain that the Mycenaean forms I have provided below are correct:
Here, the future infinitive is provided only for verbs of which the stem of the present infinitive terminates with a vowel. Thus, damauein => damausein, eisoraiein => eisoraisein etc., and the shift from the Mycenaean Linear B present infinitive to the future is identical, thus:
damaue => damause, eisoraie => eisoraise etc.
It is imperative that you read the three notes at the end of the table above; otherwise, you will not understand why ancient Greek resorted to future infinitives when it was strictly called for. Since ancient Greek is the mother of all modern Centum (Occidental) languages, it contains every possible variant in conjugations and declensions to be found in the latter, except that modern Occidental languages never contain all of the elements of ancient Greek grammar. The lack of a future infinitive in modern Centum languages (at least as far as I know) bears testimony to the fact that ancient Greek contains more grammatical elements than any modern language. Each modern language borrows some, but never all, grammatical elements from ancient Greek. The upshot is that ancient Greek grammar is significantly more complex than ancient Latin and all modern Occidental languages. This will become painfully obvious as we progress through each grammatical element, one after another in ancient Greek, including Mycenaean. For instance, the next grammatical form we shall be addressing is the aorist or simple past infinitive, another one which does not appear in any modern Western language.
Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in T = 502 In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in T. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter T: It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were. The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 502.
Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in S = 487 In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in S. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter S: It is absolutely de rigueur to read the NOTES on Mycenaean versus ancient archaic Greek orthography in the chart above. Otherwise, the Linear B sentences will not make any sense. It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were. The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 487.