Dedicated to the decipherment of
The Linear, Syllabic Scripts of Crete, Mainland Greece, and Cyprus
April 9, 2017
Kanashi.net has been deleted in favor of Konosos.net.
Some pages that appeared on Kanashi.net may be in revision and may not yet appear on Konosos.net; please be patient while I revise and add these pages.
11.22.14: Any decipherment is challenged by the need to preserve phonetic integrity. Methodology may be defined by the manner in which this integrity is preserved. Nevertheless, since the syllabic Greek of the Linear B language is very different from the alphabetic Greek of the classic and the modern languages, “something must give” to allow the gaps to be bridged. The larger scholastic community has endeavored to preserve the integrity of the vowels while allowing great latitude with the consonants; this approach has resulted in words such as σπέρμα (sperma) “seed” for pe-ma. With the exception of some dialectal alternations, I largely disagree with this approach because it presumes that the early Greeks lacked competence to represent the consonants of their language; I have conversely endeavored to preserve the integrity of the consonants while allowing great latitude with the vowels. One must bear in mind that, while Linear B has five vowels, alphabetic Greek has seven vowels, the sounds of which are interpreted in different ways by the numerous dialects. Consequently, my approach has resulted in words such as πῆμα (pema) “calamity, misery” for pe-ma.
As one may well imagine, the premises of these divergent approaches result in divergent conclusions. However, a key tenet of logic states that, if the premises are false, the conclusion(s) must then be false. Therefore, while I am always receptive to thoughtful debate, my primary concern is whether my premises and conclusions make “Greek sense“. In the absence of cogent arguments to the contrary, I remain steadfast in my approach, even though I may be its only proponent.
Gretchen E. Leonhardt
P.S. For an alternate approach, visit Richard Vallance Janke’s Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae.
For further insight about the development of Greek, see The Meanings of Linear-Script Signs.
Richard Valance Janke and I have each published a decipherment of KN V 684. However, since posting this poll, Janke elected to use Rita Roberts’ decipherment rather than his own. Please take a moment to review each decipherment– Roberts’ and Leonhardt’s–and then come back to vote.