Friday, January 07, 2011

The Origins of Writing and the Alphabet as a Derivation from Syllabic Script - 3 - LEXILINE JOURNAL 555

[In amended form later published as a book under the title Ancient Signs

Not everyone will accord with exactly that exceptional laudatory sentiment, but the importance of the Linear B decipherment is undoubted. Accordingly, although some decipherment improvements in Mycenaean Greek are suggested subsequently in the course of this article, this takes nothing away from the genius of the original decipherment work. Whatever is done always builds on the work of others.

C. The /L/ and /R/ Phonemes in Mycenaean Greek Linear B Script

What kinds of improvements are going to be suggested in this work?

The subsequent table of Minoan Aegean Sign Concordance contains numerous improvements, especially in the analysis of the origin of the signs.

That analysis shows, for example, that Linear B script had both an /R/ and an /L/ phoneme and also R-based and L-based syllabic signs. An L phoneme is currently negated in Linear B by classical philologists, but this unfortunate view does not bear up to critical scrutiny. Currently, R-based syllables are applied erroneously in Linear B to words clearly containing the /L/ phoneme in both modern and Ancient Greek.

In Linear B the following well-known examples can be cited:

  • the current transcription QA-SI-RE-U is transliterated as βασιλεύς
  • the current transcription A-PI-QO-RO is transliterated as αμφίπολοι, and
  • the current transcription QO-U-KO-RO is transliterated as βουκόλοι.
As shown subsequently by the Minoan Aegean Sign Concordance, Mycenaean Greek in fact had both an /R/ phoneme and an /L/ phoneme. A correct syllabic grid of Linear B must therefore include the syllabic values LA, LE, LI, LO, and LU. The syllabic grid of Ventris and Chadwick does not do this and is thus erroneous on that score. The missing L-based syllables are provided in this work.

D. Multiple Sources are used to determine the Origin of Syllabic Signs

The syllabic grid which follows subsequently in this work is a giant leap forward in the analysis of ancient syllabic scripts. Ventris created a syllabic grid applicable only to Linear B, while the syllabic grid presented here covers six different sources, all in one inter-connected syllabic grid: 1) the Cypriot Syllabary, 2) Linear B, 3) the Phaistos Disk, 4) the Axe of Arkalochori, 5) two Old Elamite Scripts, and 6) comparable syllabic signs in Sumerian pictographs and Egyptian hieroglyphs. This produces a symbiotic syllabic grid system with countervailing checks and balances.

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