inaugural date: 26 November 2000; for latest updates, see immediately below.
Comments, corrections, questions: John Younger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. List of Linked Files
The following fonts are now available (7 Sep 08) for Macintosh OS X (courtesy Jean-Pierre Olivier):
3. Corpora and Phonetic Transcriptions
The transcribed texts are based on the texts presented in GORILA (below) and a transnumeration and phonetic normalization finished 22 March 1994 by John G. Younger; Jean-Pierre Olivier checked this document against GORILA vols. I-V and a ms. of VI. It was then put in tabular form in January-February 1997. Since then, there have been continual updates.
The phonetic transcriptions use Linear B values for Linear A signs assumed to be the same. Also see below, "Phonetic values of the signs."
4. Conventions (bibliographical,
6. My Goals for Establishing This Website
7. What Is Known about Linear A
The other earliest documents date to MM IIA (KN 40 from Knossos, South House, carrying a badly legible fraction) or MM II (ARKH Zf 9; PH 6-19, 22, 24-28, 30 [Haghia Photini], Wb 33-36, Wc 37-41, 43, 44, 46, 52, 55, Wg 45, and Wy 42; and SAM Wa 1).
Hieroglyphic was therefore probably invented first, in MM IA and appears first on seals from Archanes and Ayia Triada; Linear A follows immediately in MM IB, or soon after, in MM II, and appears first on documents primarily from Phaistos. From then until MM III, Hieroglyphic and Linear A were being written contemporaneously, with Hieroglyphic documents at Malia Quartier Mu (MM II) and Malia Palace (MM III, and Knossos Palace?) and with Linear A documents at Phaistos (MM II), Malia Palace (MM III), and Knossos Palace (MM IIIB). From this evidence, it is possible that Hieroglyphic originated at in central Crete first (or possibly at Malia), in MM IA and Linear A originated at Phaistos slightly later in MM II.
Although the two scripts share several signs, which may have similar phonetic values, it is not clear why two such different scripts should have developed more or less contemporaneously unless they represent two different administrative practices and/or two different languages or dialects (Schoep 2002, 22-23).
Other linear scripts may have similarly developed from Linear A farther east: see the inscription from Lachish (Finkelberg 1996).
|.1-2||RA-*164a-TI|| TE VINa||30|
The documents that employ the Continuity Principle might therefore reflect short initial documents that record contributions which are then organized in an outline fashion. For instance, I can imagine 5 separate documents being collated to produce HT 20:
The implication of such a system is that the 5 separate short texts (really more like chits) were brought together, not because they represent the same contributions or contributions from the same place/person, but because they represent contributions organized according to a larger principle: 1) made at the same time, or 2) made from the same region/person, or 3) organized/collected by the same Collector.
|name||a: contribution||b: U-MI-NA-SI||assessment|
|SA-RA2||OLE+DI 1||OLE+DI 5||6|
|NI 2||NI 2||4|
|VINa 3||VINa 4||7|
|VIR+KA VINa 6||6|
|VINa 3 E||3 E|
|OLE+?||JA-QIf||3 J L2||3 J L2|
The ratios seem to be as follows:
|name||a: KI-RI-TA2 (owed)||b: SA (paid?)||assessment|
|SA-RA2||a: GRA 10||10|
|a: VINa 1||b: SA (paid?) VINa 9||10|
|11 oil, figs, cattle|
Again, the ratios appear to be similar in proportion to those in HT 28:
This is not to say that the acrophonic principle is never appropriate to Linear A. Valério 2007 demonstrates that the word for master/lord is DU-PU2-RE and that the first sign DU is based in form on the Egyptian sr , "official/dignitary/courtier."
"The languages which have been used for comparison are of two families: Indo-European, especially an Anatolian language such as Luwian (Palmer, Meriggi [and Ed Brown of UNC-CH]); Semitic (Gordon, Best, and others)... First no inflexional forms such as characterize Indo-European or Semitic languages can be clearly demonstrated, hence the identifications depend largely on vocabulary, which is notoriously easily borrowed. Secondly, the Semitic comparisons are mainly with triconsonantal roots -- yet if the vowels are ignored we are leaving out half the information presented by the script, and thus much decreasing the chances of success. Thirdly, if the languge of Linear A does not belong to a well-known family, then the chances of identifiying it are virtually nil. This is not to say that Linear A remains undecipherable; as more documents are found and published, we shall understand more of it. But I doubt very much if speculation at this stage can help; I feel strongly that is likely to belong to an unfamiliar type." (Chadwick 1975: 147)
Phonetic values of the signs (Godart 1984, amplifying Olivier's previous list)
*22=mPI2 (see Duhoux 1984, Janda 1986, Melena 1987; Tosa 2010)
*29=mPU2 (see Duhoux 1984, Janda 1986, Melena 1987; Tosa 2010)
*56=PA3 or mPA3 (see SMID 1981, p. 61; Duhoux 1984, Janda 1986, Melena 1987; Tosa 2010)
*65=JU (see SMID 1981, p. 61)
*66=TA2=TNA (Pope-Raison 1978: 28).
*304 = KA2; *306 = A2 (shape resembles AB 43, known from MY Zf 2); *318 = DI2
|*304 = KA|
|JA-*304[ (PH 14a)||cf. A-SI-JA-KA (HT 28a.1, 28b.1-2)|
|*304+PA (lots)||KA-PA (HT 6a.1; HT 8b.4; HT 94a.1; HT 102.1; HT 140.5)|
|*304+PA+*316+D3 (HT Wa <1021bis>)|
|*304+PA-KU-PA (HT We 1020a)|
|*306 = A|
|]*306-JA-PI (ARKH 3b.1)||WA-JA-PI-[ ] (HT 9b.1)|
|]*306-KI-TA2 (HT 122b.2)||A-*301-KI-TA-A (TY Zb 4)|
|]*306-QE-DU[ (KH 21.3)|
|]-*306-TI-KA-A-RE[ (HT 4.1)||A-TI-KA (ZA Wc.a1-2)|
|*306-TU-JA (HT 115b.3)||cf. JA-TO-JA[ (ZA 4a.2-3)|
*314 = PU3
Valério independently; Owens 1999 & Facchetti 1999a, 132 identify the value as BU, a variant of PU2; so as not to start a new consonant "row," I conform the sign to PU3
10a. Transaction Signs
10b. Transaction Words
10c. Place Names
10d. Other Words
|word 1||word 2||word 3||word 4||word 5||word 6||word 7||word 8|
Document PK 11, however, presents three changes in the Libation Formula:
|JJ (PH 9b)|
|J||A (HT 120.3)|
|J||E (lots; EJ [HT 123a.3-4; ZA 8.4])|
|J||E||B (HT 27a.8)|
|J||B (HT 129.1; KH 5.4, 6.8, 17.3)|
|J||F (HT 51b.2)|
|J||K (HT 32.1)|
|J||H (HT 93a.3)|
|J||E||L2 (KH 7a.5, 56.1)|
|J||L2 (HT 123b.4)|
|EE (PH 12b.2, 13a, 13c)|
|E||B (KH 9.2)|
|E||F (HT 8b.4, 16.3, 40a.4, 123b.5, Zd 156)|
|E||L2 (HT 33.3)|
|E||L4 (KH 26.2)|
|E||L6 (KH 76.2)|
|E||YYY (PH 26)|
|A||BB (KH 86.2)|
|BB (KE Wc 2b)|
|F||K (PH 1b.2)|
|F||L (ZA 7b.8)|
|H||K (HT 34.3)|
|K||L2 (HT 86a.2, 120.2; KH 11.2.3-4, 4.6, 16.1, 75.2)|
|L2L4 (HT 33.2)|
|L3L3 (HT 15.2)|
If, however, X (A711) is the half-mina and W is the mina, then W would
be 1/60 talent -- that might explain the formal relationship between B (if
B were 1/3) and
W: W would be a conjoined BB with an implied value of 1/10 x 1/6.
Or it may be the Linear A equivalent of Linear B *116 N, the half mina -- if so, then W could be the full mina (see above).
For four of the fractions (J, E, F, K), we can demonstrate certain values, and can suggest, with much less certainty, values for an additional five fractions. The chart below also gives Hiero fractions that are similar in shape.
The horizontal lines below the fractions point out "family" resemblances in shape.
|Linear A||Linear B||Denomination||Mass (gr, approximate)||Fraction of Talent||Fraction of preceding|
|A717, DD||B117, M||double mina||967||1/30||1/30|
|A711, X||B116, N||1/2 mina||242||1/120||1/2|
|-||B115, P||1/24 mina||20.2||1/1440||1/12|
|-||B*21, Q||1/144 mina?||(3.36)||1/8640||1/6|
Comments, corrections, questions: John