Phoenician and Linear A & B

Sun Feb 22 11:29:36 2009
The transliteration of Linear B allows for a good degree of variation allowing words to be interpreted in many different ways. There are also many Mycenaean words which do not clearly decipher to any later Greek cognates. These could be proper names, words that dropped out of Greek over time or remnants of non-Greek linguistic influence. There is wide latitude in interpretation of Linear B. It is possible to say that it is not completely or entirely Greek but I don’t see any evidence to remotely suggest that it might be Phoenician, a very different non-Indo-European Semitic language.

However there might be some evidence to suggest that Linear A could be derived from an older form of the Phoenician language. There are similarities between Linear A and both Indo-European and Semitic languages but Linear A uses written vowels, which is highly unusual for an ancient Semitic language.

Cyrus Gordon even held that the Greeks and Hebrews were branches descended from a common Semitic culture and pointed to Minoan Linear A as part of his justification. (The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations, 1962) Although I there is very little support for this idea.

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~ by severalfourmany on February 22, 2009.

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