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Linear A is a writing system that was used by the Minoans (Cretans) from 1800 to 1450 BC to write the hypothesized
Minoan language The Minoan language is the language (or languages) of the ancient Minoan civilization of Crete written in the Cretan hieroglyphs Cretan hieroglyphs are a hieroglyph A hieroglyph ( Greek for "sacred carvings") was a character of the ancien ...
. Linear A was the primary script used in palace and religious writings of the Minoan civilization. It was discovered by archaeologist Sir 
Arthur Evans Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was a British archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch o ...

Arthur Evans
. It was succeeded by
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or ...
, which was used by the Mycenaeans to write an early form of
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
. No texts in Linear A have yet been deciphered. The term ''linear'' refers to the fact that the script was written by using a stylus to cut lines into a tablet of clay, as opposed to
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
, which was written by using a stylus to press ''wedges'' into the clay. Linear A belongs to a group of scripts that evolved independently of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian systems. During the second millennium BC, there were four major branches: Linear A,
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or ...
, Cypro-Minoan, and Cretan hieroglyphic. In the 1950s, Linear B was deciphered as
Mycenaean Greek Mycenaean Greek is the most ancient attested form of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of lan ...
. Linear B shares many symbols with Linear A, and they may notate similar syllabic values. But neither those nor any other proposed readings lead to a language that scholars can read. The only part of the script that can be read with any certainty is the signs for numbers—which are, however, only known as numerical values; the words for those numbers remain unknown.


Script

Most hypotheses about the Linear A script and Minoan language start with
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or ...
. Linear A has hundreds of signs, believed to represent syllabic, ideographic, and semantic values in a manner similar to Linear B. While many of those assumed to be syllabic signs are similar to ones in Linear B, approximately 80% of Linear A's
logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lang ...
s are unique;. the difference in sound values between Linear A and Linear B signs ranges from 9% to 13%. It primarily appears in the left-to-right direction, but occasionally appears as a right-to-left or
boustrophedon Boustrophedon is a style of writing, mostly seen in ancient manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter i ...

boustrophedon
script. Linear A may be divided into four categories: * numerals and metrical signs, * phonetic signs, * ligatures and composite signs, and * ideograms. Numbers follow a decimal system, units are represented by vertical dashes, tens by horizontal dashes, hundreds by circles, and thousands by circles with rays. Specific signs that coincide with numerals are regarded as fractions. An interesting feature is the recording of numbers in the script: The highest number recorded in known Linear A texts is 3000, but there are special symbols to indicate fractions and weights.


Signary


Numbers

Integers can be read, and there is consensus on the fractions , and . The other fractions are less certain. Corazza et al. (2020) decipher the following values, most of which had been previously proposed: Other fractions are composed by addition: the common 𐝕 JE and 𐝓 DD are and (), 𐝒 BB = , EF = , etc. (and indeed B looks like it might derive from KK ). They propose that the
hapax legomenon In corpus linguistics, a ''hapax legomenon'' ( also or ; ''hapax legomena''; sometimes abbreviated to ''hapax'', plural ''hapaxes'') is a word or an Fixed expression, expression that occurs only once within a context: either in the written reco ...
, glyph L 𐝈, is spurious. Several of these values are supported by Linear B. Although Linear B used a different numbering system, several of the Linear A fractions were adopted as fractional units of measurement. For example, Linear B 𐝓 DD and 𐝎 (presumably AA) are and of a ''lana'', while 𐝇 K is of the main unit for dry weight.


Corpus

Linear A has been unearthed chiefly on
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
, but also at other sites in Greece, as well as Turkey and Israel. The extant corpus, comprising some 1,427 specimens totalling 7,362 to 7,396 signs, if scaled to standard type, would fit easily on two sheets of paper. Linear A has been written on various media, such as stone offering tables, gold and silver hairpins, and ceramics. The earliest inscriptions of Linear A come from Phaistos, in a layer dated at the end of the Middle Minoan II period: that is, no later than c. 1700 BC. Linear A texts have been found throughout the island of Crete and also on some Aegean islands (Kythera, Kea, Thera, Melos), in mainland Greece (Ayos Stephanos), on the west coast of Asia Minor (Miletos, Troy), and in the Levant (Tel Haror).


Crete

The main discoveries of Linear A tablets have been at three sites on Crete: *
Hagia Triada Hagia Triada (also Ayia Triada, Agia Triada, Agia Trias, , " Holy Trinity") is the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan settlement. Hagia Triada is situated on the western end of a prominent coastal ridge, with Phaistos at the eastern end and ...
in the Mesara, 147 tablets *
ZakrosZakros ( el, Ζάκρος; Linear B: ) is a site on the eastern coast of the island of Crete, Greece, containing ruins from the Minoan civilization. The site is often known to archaeologists as Zakro or Kato Zakro. It is believed to have been one of ...
, on the east coast, 31 tablets *
Khania Chania ( el, Χανιά ; vec, La Canea) is a city of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is i ...
, in the northwest, 94 tablets. Discoveries have been made at the following locations on Crete: * Apoudoulou *
Archanes Archanes ( el, Αρχάνες, Godart & Olivier abbreviation: ARKH) is a former municipality in the Heraklion (regional unit), Heraklion regional unit, Crete, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Archanes-As ...
*
Arkalochori Arkalochori ( el, Αρκαλοχώρι) is a town and a former municipality in the Heraklion regional unit Heraklion or Iraklion ( ; el, Ηράκλειο, , ) is the largest city and the administrative capital city, capital of the island of Crete ...
*
Armenoi Armenoi ( el, Αρμένοι, also transliterated as ''Armeni'') is a village and former municipality in the Chania regional unit, Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , Ancient: '','' ) is the largest and most populous of the G ...
*
Chania Chania ( el, Χανιά ; vec, La Canea) is a city in Greece and the capital of the Chania (regional unit), Chania regional unit. It lies along the north west coast of the island Crete, about west of Rethymno and west of Heraklion. The mu ...

Chania
*
Gournia Gournia ( el, Γουρνιά) is the site of a Minoan civilization, Minoan palace complex on the island of Crete, Greece, excavated in the early 20th century by the American archaeologist, Harriet Boyd-Hawes. The original name for the site is unkno ...

Gournia
*
Hagia Triada Hagia Triada (also Ayia Triada, Agia Triada, Agia Trias, , " Holy Trinity") is the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan settlement. Hagia Triada is situated on the western end of a prominent coastal ridge, with Phaistos at the eastern end and ...
(largest cache) *Kardamoutsa * Kato Simi (also spelled Kato Syme) *
Knossos Knossos (also Cnossos, both pronounced ; grc, Κνωσός, Knōsós, ; Linear B: ''Ko-no-so'') is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe's oldest city. Settled as early as the Neolithic period, the na ...

Knossos
* Kophinas *Larani * Mallia *
Mochlos Mochlos ( el, Μόχλος) is a modern island in the Gulf of Mirabello in eastern Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , Ancient: '','' ) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the wo ...

Mochlos
(also spelled Mokhlos) *
Mount Juktas A mountain in north-central Crete, Mount Juktas ( el, Γιούχτας - ''Giouchtas''), also spelled Iuktas, Iouktas, or Ioukhtas, was an important religious site for the Minoan civilization. Located a few kilometers from the palaces of Knoss ...
(also spelled Iouktas) *
Myrtos Pyrgos Pyrgos (also Myrtos-Pyrgos; el, Πύργος (στο Μύρτος)) is an archaeological site of the Minoan civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characteriz ...
*Nerokourou *
Palaikastro Palaikastro ( el, Παλαίκαστρο; Godart and Olivier abbreviation PK) is a small village at the east end of the Mediterranean island Crete. It is a historic site. Already in Minoan civilization, Minoan times the region was a centre of tra ...
*
Petras Petras ( el, Πετράς) is the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, flourishing from c. 3000 BC to c. 1450 BC and, after a l ...
* Petsophas *
Phaistos Phaistos ( el, Φαιστός, ; Ancient Greek: , , Minoan language, Minoan: PA-I-TO?http://grbs.library.duke.edu/article/download/11991/4031&ved=2ahUKEwjor62y3bHoAhUEqYsKHZaZArAQFjASegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw1MwIv3ekgX-SxkJrbORipd), also transliterat ...
*Platanos *Poros,
Heraklion Heraklion or Iraklion ( ; el, Ηράκλειο, , ) is the largest city and the administrative capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in lar ...
* Prassa *
Pseira Pseira ( el, Ψείρα) is an islet in the Gulf of Mirabello in northeastern Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , Ancient: '','' ) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world a ...
*
Psychro Psychro Cave ( el, Σπήλαιο Ψυχρού) is an ancient Minoan civilization, Minoan sacred cave in Lasithi Plateau, Lasithi plateau in the Lasithi district of eastern Crete. Psychro is associated with the Diktaean Cave (Greek: ''Diktaion A ...
(also spelled Psykhro) * Pyrgos Tylissos *
Sitia Sitia ( el, Σητεία) is a port town and a municipality in Lasithi Lasithi ( el, Λασίθι) is the easternmost regional unit on the island of Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , Ancient: '','' ) is the largest and mos ...
*Skhinias * Skotino cave * Traostalos *Troulos (or Trulos) * Vrysinas *
ZakrosZakros ( el, Ζάκρος; Linear B: ) is a site on the eastern coast of the island of Crete, Greece, containing ruins from the Minoan civilization. The site is often known to archaeologists as Zakro or Kato Zakro. It is believed to have been one of ...


Outside Crete

Until 1973, only one Linear A tablet had been found outside Crete (on
Kea The kea (; ; ''Nestor notabilis'') is a species of large parrot in the Family (biology), family Nestoridae found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. About long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orang ...
).. Since then, other locations have yielded inscriptions. Most—if not all—inscriptions found outside Crete appear to have been made locally, as indicated by the composition of the substrate and other indications. Also, close analysis of the inscriptions found outside Crete indicates the use of a script that is somewhere between Linear A and Linear B, combining elements from both.


Other Greek islands

*
Kea The kea (; ; ''Nestor notabilis'') is a species of large parrot in the Family (biology), family Nestoridae found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. About long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orang ...
*
Kythera Kythira (, ; el, Κύθηρα, , also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an Greek islands, island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ion ...
*
Melos Milos or Melos (; el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, in ...
*
Samothrace Samothrace (also known as Samothraki, el, Σαμοθράκη, ) is a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southea ...
*
Thera Santorini ( el, Σαντορίνη, ), officially Thira (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in S ...

Thera


Mainland Greece

*
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site near Mykines, Greece, Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about south-west of Athens; north of Argos, Peloponne ...

Mycenae
*
Tiryns Tiryns or (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), re ...
*Hagios Stephanos,
Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it i ...


Chronology

Linear A became prominent during the Middle Minoan Period, specifically from 1625 to 1450 BC. It was contemporary with and possibly derived from
Cretan hieroglyphs Cretan hieroglyphs are a hieroglyphic writing system used in early Bronze Age Crete, during the Minoan civilization, Minoan era. They predate Linear A by about a century, but the two writing systems continued to be used in parallel for most of t ...
, and is an ancestor of Linear B. The sequence and the geographical spread of Cretan hieroglyphs, Linear A, and Linear B, the three overlapping but distinct writing systems on Bronze Age Crete and the
Greek mainland Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed by Thessaloniki. Situ ...
, can be summarized as follows:


Discovery

Archaeologist
Arthur Evans Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was a British archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch o ...

Arthur Evans
named the script "Linear" because its characters consisted simply of lines inscribed in clay, in contrast to the more pictographic characters in
Cretan hieroglyphs Cretan hieroglyphs are a hieroglyphic writing system used in early Bronze Age Crete, during the Minoan civilization, Minoan era. They predate Linear A by about a century, but the two writing systems continued to be used in parallel for most of t ...
that were used during the same period. Several tablets inscribed in signs similar to Linear A were found in the
Troad The Troad ( or ; el, Τρωάδα, ''Troáda'') or Troas (; grc, Τρῳάς, ''Trōiás'' or , ''Trōïás'') is a historical region in northwestern Anatolia. It corresponds with the Biga Peninsula (Turkish language, Turkish: ''Biga Yarımada ...
in northwestern Anatolia. While their status is disputed, they may be imports, as there is no evidence of Minoan presence in the Troad. Classification of these signs as a unique Trojan script (proposed by contemporary Russian linguist Nikolai Kazansky) is not accepted by other linguists.


Comparison of Linear A and Linear B

In 1945, E. Pugliese Carratelli first introduced the classification of Linear A and Linear B parallels. However, in 1961, W. C. Brice modified the Carratelli system that was based on a wider range of Linear A sources, but Brice did not suggest Linear B equivalents to the Linear A signs. Louis Godart and Jean-Pierre Olivier introduced in the 1985 ''Recueil des inscriptions en linéaire A (GORILA)'', based on E.L Bennett's standard numeration of the signs of Linear B, introduced a joint numeration of the Linear A and B signs.


Phonetic

The majority of signs in the Linear A script appear to have graphical equivalents in the Linear B syllabary. Comparison of the Hagia Triada tablets HT 95 and HT 86 shows that they contain identical lists of words and some kind of phonetic alteration. Scholars who approached Linear A with the phonetic values of Linear B produced a series of identical words. The Linear B–Linear A parallels: ku-ku-da-ra, pa-i-to, ku-mi-na, di-de-ro →di-de-ru, qa-qa-ro→qa-qa-ru, a-ra-na-ro→a-ra-na-re.


Theories regarding the language

It is difficult to evaluate a given analysis of Linear A as there is little point of reference for reading its inscriptions. The simplest approach to decipherment may be to presume that the values of Linear A match more or less the values given to the deciphered Linear B script, used for Mycenaean Greek.


Greek

In 1957, Bulgarian scholar Vladimir I. Georgiev published his ''Le déchiffrement des inscriptions crétoises en linéaire A'' ("The decipherment of Cretan inscriptions in Linear A") stating that Linear A contains Greek linguistic elements.. Georgiev then published another work in 1963, titled ''Les deux langues des inscriptions crétoises en linéaire A'' ("The two languages of Cretan inscriptions in Linear A"), suggesting that the language of the Hagia Triada tablets was Greek but that the rest of the Linear A corpus was in Hittite-Luwian. In December 1963, Gregory Nagy of
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
developed a list of Linear A and Linear B terms based on the assumption "that signs of identical or similar shape in the two scripts will represent similar or identical phonetic values"; Nagy concluded that the language of Linear A bears "Greek-like" and Indo-European elements. Michael Ventris' decipherment of Linear B in 1952 suggests an old form of Greek: it is derived from Linear A. Therefore, we can assume that the signs related to the Linear A express the same value as the Linear B. In all Linear B values for related words give a large number of identical forms or identical root forms, but alternate with the final vowel, or almost identical forms among linear texts, mainly those of Hagia Triada. Extracting conclusions or arguments from a simple morphology can hardly be considered methodologically satisfactory. Yves Duhoux in the "Linear A as Greek" discussion at AEGEANET in March 1998:
I would like to remind you of some basic facts related to the Greekness of Linear A's language: (1) The word for "total" is different in Linear A and in Linear B: LB ''to - so(- de)''; LA > B ''ku-ro.'' (2) The Linear B language is significantly less "prefixing" than Linear A. (3) Votive Linear A texts, where we are pretty sure to have variant forms of the same "word", show morphological (I mean: grammatical) features totally different from Linear B. The conclusion must be that even if one can find some casual resemblances between words in both languages (remember this MUST statistically happen: e.g. English and Persian use the same word "bad" to express the meaning of BAD, although it is proven that both words have no genetic relation at all), they are probably structurally different.


Anatolian languages

Since the late 1950s, some scholars have suggested that the Linear A language could be an
Anatolian language The Anatolian languages are an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies ...
.


Luwian

Palmer (1958) put forward a theory, based on Linear B phonetic values, suggesting that Linear A language could be related closely to
Luwian The Luwians were a group of Anatolian peoples who lived in central, western, and southern Anatolia, in present-day Turkey, in the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. They spoke the Luwian language, an Indo-European language of the Anatolian languages, ...
. The theory, however, failed to gain universal support for the following reasons: * There is no remarkable resemblance between Minoan and Hitto-Luwian morphology. * None of the existing theories of the origin of Hitto-Luwian peoples and their migration to Anatolia (either from the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
or from the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
) are related to Crete. * There was a lack of direct contact between Hitto-Luwians and Minoan Crete; the latter was never mentioned in Hitto-Luwian inscriptions. Small states located along the western coast of ancient Asia Minor were natural barriers between Hitto-Luwians and Minoan Crete. * There were major differences in material culture between the Hitto-Luwian and Minoan civilizations. There are recent works focused on the Luwian connection, not in terms of the Minoan language being Anatolian, but rather in terms of possible borrowings from Luwian, including the origin of the writing system itself.Marangozis, John (2006). ''An introduction to Minoan Linear A''. LINCOM Europa.


Lycian

In an article from 2001,
Margalit Finkelberg Margalit Finkelberg (nee Karpyuk; born 1947) () is an Israeli historian and linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language ...
, Professor of Classics emerita at Tel Aviv University, suggested a "high degree of correspondence between the phonological and morphological system of Minoan and that of Lycian" and proposed that "the language of Linear A is either the direct ancestor of Lycian or a closely related idiom."


Semitic languages

Cyrus H. Gordon first proposed in 1966–1969 that the texts contained Semitic vocabulary that was based on the lexical items such as ''kull-'', meaning 'all' (Akkadian ''kalu, kullatu,'' Hebrew ''kol''). Gordon uses morphological evidence to suggest that ''u-'' serves as a prefix in Linear A like Semitic copula ''u-''. However, Gordon's copula ''u-'' is based on an incomplete word, and even if some of Gordon's identifications were true, a complete case for a Semitic language has not yet been built.


Phoenician

In 2001, the journal ''Ugarit-Forschungen'' published the article "The First Inscription in Punic—Vowel Differences in Linear A and B" by
Jan Best Jan Gijsbert Pieter Best (born 29 August 1941, Grou, in the province Friesland Friesland ( , also , ; official fry, Fryslân, ), historically known as Frisia, is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands located in the northe ...
, claiming to demonstrate how and why Linear A notates an archaic form of
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...
. This was a continuation of attempts by Cyrus Gordon in finding connections between Minoan and
West Semitic languages The West Semitic languages are a proposed major sub-grouping of ancient Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hami ...
.


Indo-Iranian

Another recent interpretation, based on the frequencies of the syllabic signs and on complete
palaeographic Palaeography (American and British English spelling differences#Simplification of ae and oe, UK) or paleography (American and British English spelling differences#Simplification of ae and oe, US; ultimately from grc-gre, , ''palaiós'', "old" ...
comparative studies, suggests that the Minoan Linear A language belongs to the . Studies by Hubert La Marle include a presentation of the morphology of the language, avoid the complete identification of phonetic values between Linear A and B, and also avoid comparing Linear A with Cretan hieroglyphs.La Marle, Hubert. ''Linéaire A, la première écriture syllabique de Crète''. Paris: Geuthner, 4 Volumes, 1997–1999, 2006; ''Introduction au linéaire A''. Geuthner, Paris, 2002; ''L'aventure de l'alphabet: les écritures cursives et linéaires du Proche-Orient et de l'Europe du sud-est à l'Âge du Bronze''. Paris: Geuthner, 2002; ''Les racines du crétois ancien et leur morphologie: communication à l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres'', 2007. La Marle uses the frequency counts to identify the type of syllables written in Linear A, and takes into account the problem of
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
s in the vocabulary. However, La Marle's interpretation of Linear A has been subject to some criticism; it was rejected by John Younger of the
University of Kansas The University of Kansas (KU) is a with its main campus in , United States, and several satellite campuses, research and educational centers, medical centers, and classes across the state of Kansas. Two branch campuses are in the on the Kans ...
who showed that La Marle had invented at will erroneous and arbitrary new transcriptions, based on resemblances with many different script systems (as Phoenician, Hieroglyphic Egyptian, Hieroglyphic Hittite, Ethiopian, Cypro-Minoan, etc.), ignoring established evidence and internal analysis, while for some words La Marle proposes religious meanings inventing names of gods and rites. La Marle made a rebuttal in "An answer to John G. Younger's remarks on Linear A" in 2010.


Tyrrhenian

Italian scholar Giulio M. Facchetti attempted to link Linear A to the
Tyrrhenian language family Tyrsenian (also Tyrrhenian or Common Tyrrhenic), named after the Tyrrhenians The Tyrrhenians (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of clas ...

Tyrrhenian language family
comprising
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
,
Rhaetic Rhaetic or Raetic (), also known as Rhaetian, was a language spoken in the ancient region of Rhaetia File:REmpire Rhetia.png, 250px, Province of Raetia highlighted. Raetia ( ; ; also spelled Rhaetia) was a Roman province, province of the Rom ...
, and Lemnian. This family is reasoned to be a pre-Indo-European
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
substratum In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the m ...
of the 2nd millennium BC, sometimes referred to as
Pre-Greek The Pre-Greek substrate (or Pre-Greek substratum) consists of the unknown pre-Indo-European language(s) spoken in prehistoric Greece before the coming of the Proto-Greek language The Proto-Greek language (also known as Proto-Hellenic) is ...
. Facchetti proposed some possible similarities between the Etruscan language and ancient Lemnian, and other Aegean languages like Minoan.
Michael Ventris Michael George Francis Ventris, (; 12 July 1922 – 6 September 1956) was an English architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in ...
, who (with
John Chadwick John Chadwick, (21 May 1920 – 24 November 1998) was an English linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestu ...
) successfully deciphered Linear B, also believed in a link between Minoan and Etruscan. The same perspective is supported by S. Yatsemirsky in Russia and Raymond A. Brown.


Attempts at decipherment of single words

Some researchers suggest that a few words or word elements may be recognized, without (yet) enabling any conclusion about relationship with other languages. In general, they use analogy with Linear B in order to propose phonetic values of the syllabic sounds. John Younger, in particular, thinks that place names usually appear in certain positions in the texts, and notes that the proposed phonetic values often correspond to known place names as given in Linear B texts (and sometimes to modern Greek names). For example, he proposes that three syllables, read as ''KE-NI-SO'', might be the indigenous form of
Knossos Knossos (also Cnossos, both pronounced ; grc, Κνωσός, Knōsós, ; Linear B: ''Ko-no-so'') is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe's oldest city. Settled as early as the Neolithic period, the na ...

Knossos
. Likewise, in Linear A, ''MA+RU'' is suggested to mean ''wool'', and to correspond both to a Linear B pictogram with this meaning, and to the classical Greek word μαλλός with the same meaning (in that case a loan word from Minoan).


Unicode

The Linear A alphabet (U+10600–U+1077F) was added to the
Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's wri ...

Unicode
Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.


See also

* Aegean numbers *
Cypro-Minoan syllabary The Cypro-Minoan syllabary (CM) is an Undeciphered writing systems, undeciphered syllabary In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as ...
* Phaistos Disc * Arkalochori Axe * Dispilio Tablet


References


Notes


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * Marangozis, John (2007). ''An introduction to Minoan Linear A''. LINCOM Europa, * * * * * Thomas, Helena. ''Understanding the transition from Linear A to Linear B script''. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Supervisor: Professor John Bennet. Thesis (D. Phil.). University of Oxford, 2003. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 311–338). *
Review


External links


Linear A Texts in Phonetic Transcription
by John Younger (Last Update: 10 July 2020).
Interactive database of Linear A inscriptions

DAIDALIKA – Scripts and Languages of Minoan and Mycenaean Crete



Mnamon: Antiche Scritture del Mediterraneo (Antique Writings of the Mediterranean)

GORILA Volume 1



Linear A Explorer

Script archeology



Interpretation of the Linear A Scripts
by Gia Kvashilava {{Authority control Undeciphered writing systems Syllabary writing systems Obsolete writing systems Bronze Age writing systems Aegean languages in the Bronze Age Eteocretan language