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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 by several centuries. The oldest Mycenaean writing dates to about 1450 BC. It is descended from the older Linear A , an undeciphered earlier script used for writing the Minoan language , as is the later Cypriot syllabary , which also recorded Greek. Linear B, found mainly in the palace archives at Knossos
Knossos
, Cydonia , Pylos , Thebes and Mycenae
Mycenae
, disappeared with the fall of Mycenaean civilization during the Late Bronze Age collapse . The succeeding period, known as the Greek Dark Ages , provides no evidence of the use of writing. It is also the only one of the prehistoric Aegean scripts to have been deciphered, by English architect and self-taught linguist Michael Ventris .

Linear B
Linear B
consists of around 87 syllabic signs and over 100 ideographic signs. These ideograms or "signifying" signs symbolize objects or commodities. They have no phonetic value and are never used as word signs in writing a sentence.

The application of Linear B
Linear B
appears to have been confined to administrative contexts. In all the thousands of clay tablets, a relatively small number of different "hands" have been detected: 45 in Pylos (west coast of the Peloponnese , in southern Greece
Greece
) and 66 in Knossos
Knossos
( Crete
Crete
). It is possible that the script was used only by a guild of professional scribes who served the central palaces. Once the palaces were destroyed, the script disappeared.

CONTENTS

* 1 Script

* 1.1 Syllabic signs * 1.2 Special
Special
and unknown signs * 1.3 Spelling and pronunciation * 1.4 Ideograms

* 2 Archives

* 2.1 Corpus

* 2.2 Chronology

* 2.2.1 Timeline of Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean scripts * 2.2.2 Timeline of Linear B
Linear B
* 2.2.3 Controversy on the date of the Knossos
Knossos
tablets

* 2.3 Contents

* 3 Discovery and decipherment

* 3.1 Arthur J. Evans\' classification of scripts * 3.2 Early attempts * 3.3 Alice Kober\'s triplets * 3.4 Emmett L. Bennett\'s transcription conventions * 3.5 Michael Ventris\' identification as Greek

* 4 Unicode
Unicode
* 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 Sources * 8 Bibliography * 9 External links

SCRIPT

Linear B
Linear B
has roughly 200 signs, divided into syllabic signs with phonetic values and ideograms with semantic values. The representations and naming of these signs have been standardized by a series of international colloquia starting with the first in Paris in 1956. After the third meeting in 1961 at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin , a standard proposed primarily by Emmett L. Bennett, Jr. (1918–2011), became known as the Wingspread Convention, which was adopted by a new organization, the Comité International Permanent des Études Mycéniennes (CIPEM), affiliated in 1970 by the fifth colloquium with UNESCO
UNESCO
. Colloquia continue: the 13th occurred in 2010 in Paris.

Many of the signs are identical or similar to those in Linear A ; however, Linear A encodes an as-yet unknown language, and it is uncertain whether similar signs had the same phonetic values .

SYLLABIC SIGNS

The grid developed during decipherment by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick of phonetic values for syllabic signs is shown below.

Initial consonants are in the leftmost column; vowels are in the top row beneath the title. The transcription of the syllable (it may not have been pronounced that way) is listed next to the sign along with Bennett's identifying number for the sign preceded by an asterisk (as was Ventris' and Chadwick's convention). In cases where the transcription of the sign remains in doubt, Bennett's number serves to identify the sign. The signs on the tablets and sealings often show considerable variation from each other and from the representations below. Discovery of the reasons for the variation and possible semantic differences is a topic of ongoing debate in Mycenaean studies.

RECOGNISED SIGNS OF SHAPE V, CV

_-A_ _-E_ _-I_ _-O_ _-U_

𐀀 _ a_

_*08_ 𐀁 _ e_

_*38_ 𐀂 _ i_

_*28_ 𐀃 _ o_

_*61_ 𐀄 _ u_

_*10_

_D-_ 𐀅 _ da_

_*01_ 𐀆 _ de_

_*45_ 𐀇 _ di_

_*07_ 𐀈 _ do_

_*14_ 𐀉 _ du_

_*51_

_J-_ 𐀊 _ ja_

_*57_ 𐀋 _ je_

_*46_ 𐀍 _ jo_

_*36_

_K-_ 𐀏 _ ka_

_*77_ 𐀐 _ ke_

_*44_ 𐀑 _ ki_

_*67_ 𐀒 _ ko_

_*70_ 𐀓 _ ku_

_*81_

_M-_ 𐀔 _ ma_

_*80_ 𐀕 _ me_

_*13_ 𐀖 _ mi_

_*73_ 𐀗 _ mo_

_*15_ 𐀘 _ mu_

_*23_

_N-_ 𐀙 _ na_

_*06_ 𐀚 _ ne_

_*24_ 𐀛 _ ni_

_*30_ 𐀜 _ no_

_*52_ 𐀝 _ nu_

_*55_

_P-_ 𐀞 _ pa_

_*03_ 𐀟 _ pe_

_*72_ 𐀠 _ pi_

_*39_ 𐀡 _ po_

_*11_ 𐀢 _ pu_

_*50_

_Q-_ 𐀣 _ qa_

_*16_ 𐀤 _ qe_

_*78_ 𐀥 _ qi_

_*21_ 𐀦 _ qo_

_*32_

_R-_ 𐀨 _ ra_

_*60_ 𐀩 _ re_

_*27_ 𐀪 _ ri_

_*53_ 𐀫 _ ro_

_*02_ 𐀬 _ ru_

_*26_

_S-_ 𐀭 _ sa_

_*31_ 𐀮 _ se_

_*09_ 𐀯 _ si_

_*41_ 𐀰 _ so_

_*12_ 𐀱 _ su_

_*58_

_T-_ 𐀲 _ ta_

_*59_ 𐀳 _ te_

_*04_ 𐀴 _ ti_

_*37_ 𐀵 _ to_

_*05_ 𐀶 _ tu_

_*69_

_W-_ 𐀷 _ wa_

_*54_ 𐀸 _ we_

_*75_ 𐀹 _ wi_

_*40_ 𐀺 _ wo_

_*42_

_Z-_ 𐀼 _ za_

_*17_ 𐀽 _ ze_

_*74_ 𐀿 _ zo_

_*20_

SPECIAL AND UNKNOWN SIGNS

In addition to the grid, the first edition of _Documents_ contained a number of other signs termed "homophones" because they appeared at that time to resemble the sounds of other syllables and were transcribed accordingly: _pa2_ and _pa3_ were presumed homophonous to _pa_. Many of these were identified by the second edition and are shown in the "special values" below. The second edition relates: "It may be taken as axiomatic that there are no true homophones." The unconfirmed identifications of _*34_ and _*35_ as _ai2_ and _ai3_ were removed. _pa2_ became _qa_.

SPECIAL VALUES

CHARACTER 𐁀 _ 𐁁 𐁂 𐁃 𐁄 𐁅 𐁇 𐁆 𐁈 𐁉 𐁊 𐁋 𐁌 𐁍

TRANSCRIPTION a2 (ha)_ _a3 (ai)_ _au_ _dwe_ _dwo_ _nwa_ _pte_ _pu2 (phu)_ _ra2 (rya)_ _ra3 (rai)_ _ro2 (ryo)_ _ta2 (tya)_ _twe_ _two_

BENNETT\'S NUMBER _*25_ _*43_ _*85_ _*71_ _*90_ _*48_ _*62_ _*29_ _*76_ _*33_ _*68_ _*66_ _*87_ _*91_

Other values remain unknown, mainly because of scarcity of evidence concerning them. Note that *34 and *35 are mirror images of each other but whether this graphic relationship indicates a phonetic one remains unconfirmed.

UNTRANSCRIBED AND DOUBTFUL VALUES

CHARACTER 𐁐 𐁑 𐁒 𐁓

𐁔 𐁕 𐁖 𐁗 𐁘 𐀎 𐁙 𐁚 𐁛 𐁜 𐁝 _

TRANSCRIPTION *18_ _*19_ _*22_ _*34_ _*35_ _*47_ _*49_ _pa3?_ _*63_ _swi?_ _ju?_ _zu?_ _swa?_ _*83_ _*86_ _*89_

BENNETT\'S NUMBER _*18_ _*19_ _*22_ _*34_ _*35_ _*47_ _*49_ _*56_ _*63_ _*64_ _*65_ _*79_ _*82_ _*83_ _*86_ _*89_

In recent times, CIPEM inherited the former authority of Bennett and the Wingspread Convention in deciding what signs are "confirmed" and how to officially represent the various sign categories. In editions of Mycenaean texts, the signs whose values have not been confirmed by CIPEM are always transcribed as numbers preceded by an asterisk (e.g., _*64_). CIPEM also allocates the numerical identifiers, and until such allocation, new signs (or obscured or mutilated signs) are transcribed as a bullet-point enclosed in square brackets: .

SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION

The signs are approximations―each may be used to represent a variety of about 70 distinct combinations of sounds, within rules and conventions. The grid presents a system of monosyllabic signs of the type V/CV. Clarification of the 14 or so special values tested the limits of the grid model, but Chadwick in the end concluded that even with the ramifications, the syllabic signs can unexceptionally be considered monosyllabic.

Possible exceptions, Chadwick goes on to explain, include the two diphthongs , 𐁁 (_ai_) and 𐁂 (_au_), as in 𐁁𐀓𐀠𐀴𐀍, _ai-ku-pi-ti-jo_, for _Aiguptios_ (Αἰγύπτιος, "Egyptian") and 𐁂𐀐𐀷, _au-ke-wa_, for _Augewās_ (Αὐγείας "Augeas "). However, a diphthong is by definition two vowels united into a single sound and therefore might be typed as just V. Thus 𐁉 (_rai_), as in 𐀁𐁉𐀺, _e-rai-wo_, for _elaiwon_ (ἔλαιον), is of the type CV. Diphthongs are otherwise treated as two monosyllables: 𐀀𐀫𐀄𐀨, _a-ro-u-ra_, for _arourans_ (accusative plural of ἄρουραι, "tamarisk trees"), of the types CV and V. Lengths of vowels and accents are not marked.

𐁌 (_Twe_), 𐁍 (_two_), 𐁃 (_dwe_), 𐁄 (_dwo_), 𐁅 (_nwa_) and the more doubtful 𐁘 (_swi_) and 𐁚 (_swa_) may be regarded as beginning with labialized consonants, rather than two consonants, even though they may alternate with a two-sign form: _o-da-twe-ta_ and _o-da-tu-we-ta_ for _Odatwenta_; _a-si-wi-jo_ and _a-swi-jo_ for _Aswios_ (Ἄσιος). Similarly, 𐁈 (_rya_), 𐁊 (_ryo_) and 𐁋 (_tya_) begin with palatalized consonants rather than two consonants: _-ti-ri-ja_ for _-trja_ (-τρια).

The one sign Chadwick tags as the exception to the monosyllabic rule is 𐁇 (_pte_), but this he attributes to a development _pte_

* Algerian Braille
Braille
(obsolete)

FREQUENCY-BASED SCRIPTS

* American Braille
Braille
(obsolete)

INDEPENDENT SCRIPTS

* Japanese * Korean * Two-Cell Chinese

EIGHT-DOT SCRIPTS

* Luxembourgish * Kanji * Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8)

SYMBOLS IN BRAILLE

* Braille
Braille
music * Canadian currency marks * Computer Braille
Braille
Code * Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8/GS6) * International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) * Nemeth braille code

BRAILLE TECHNOLOGY

* Braille
Braille
e-book * Braille
Braille
embosser * Braille
Braille
translator * Braille
Braille
watch * Mountbatten Brailler * Optical braille recognition * Perforation
Perforation
* Perkins Brailler * Refreshable braille display * Slate and stylus * Braigo

PERSONS

* Louis Braille
Braille
* Charles Barbier * Valentin Haüy * Thakur Vishva Narain Singh * Sabriye Tenberken * William Bell Wait

ORGANISATIONS

* Braille
Braille
Institute of America * Braille
Braille
Without Borders * Japan Braille
Braille
Library * National Braille
Braille
Association * Blindness organizations * Schools for the blind * American Printing House for the Blind

OTHER TACTILE ALPHABETS

* Decapoint
Decapoint
* Moon type * New York Point * Night writing * Vibratese

RELATED TOPICS

* Accessible publishing * Braille
Braille
literacy * Robo Braille
Braille

* v * t * e

Greek language
Greek language

ORIGIN AND GENEALOGY

* Proto-Greek * Pre-Greek substrate * Graeco-Armenian * Graeco-Aryan * Graeco-Phrygian * Hellenic languages

PERIODS

* Mycenaean Greek (c. 1600–1100 BC) * Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
(c. 800–300 BC) * Koine Greek (c. 300 BC–AD 330) * Jewish Koine Greek * Medieval Greek (c. 330–1453) * Modern Greek (since 1453)

VARIETIES

ANCIENT

* Aeolic * Arcadocypriot * Attic and Ionic * Doric * Homeric * Locrian * Pamphylian * Macedonian

MODERN

* Cappadocian

* _Misthiotika _

* Cretan * Cypriot * _Demotic _ * Himariote

* Italiot

* Greco/Calabrian * Griko/Apulian

* _ Katharevousa _ * Maniot * Mariupolitan * Pontic * Tsakonian * Yevanic

PHONOLOGY

* Ancient (accent /teaching ) * Koine * Standard Modern

GRAMMAR

* Ancient (tables ) * Koine Greek grammar * Standard Modern

WRITING SYSTEMS

* Cypriot syllabary * Linear B

* Greek alphabet

* History * Archaic forms * Attic numerals * Greek numerals * Orthography * Diacritics * Braille
Braille
* Cyrillization and Romanization

* Greeklish

LITERATURE

* Ancient * Byzantine * Modern

PROMOTION AND STUDY

* Hellenic Foundation for Culture * Center for the Greek Language

OTHER

* Exonyms * Morphemes in English * Terms of endearment * Place names * Proverbs * Greek language
Greek language
question

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Links: ------ /wiki/Syllabary /wiki/Mycenaean_Greek /wiki/Attested_language /wiki/Greek_language /wiki/Greek_alphabet /#cite_note-1 /wiki/Linear_A /wiki/Minoan_language /wiki/Cypriot_syllabary /wiki/Knossos /wiki/Kydonia /#cite_note-2 /wiki/Pylos /wiki/Thebes,_Greece /wiki/Mycenae /#cite_note-3 /wiki/Mycenaean_Greece /wiki/Late_Bronze_Age_collapse /wiki/Greek_Dark_Ages /wiki/Michael_Ventris

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