Progressive Linear B: Level 4.1 (Advanced) Homophones & Ideograms (Click to ENLARGE):

Linear B Level 4.1 Advanced Homophones & Ideograms

Progressive Linear B: Level 4.1 (Advanced) Homophones, Logograms & Ideograms:

Homophone (standard definition): in phonetics is a word pronounced the same as another word, but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, for instance, air & heir, eye & aye, lien & lean
OR
a homophone is a written character or characters which iséare pronounced exactly the same as its/their equivalent, as in ks =x (in English). But of course, wouldn't you know, this is not the definition of a Homophone in Linear B. 

In Linear B, in addition to the standard syllabic grid, there are several signs called "homophones" because they appear to resemble the sounds of similar syllabograms and are transcribed accordingly. PA2 and PA3 are presumed homophones of PA. But in Linear B, it may be taken as axiomatic that there are no true homophones, as per the standard dictionary definition, since none of the homophones derived from the equivalent syllabogram are pronounced the same way as the syllabogram. For instance, the syllabogram PA is pronounced just as you see it, PA.  However, we can only guess at the pronunciation of PA2 & PA3, although I for one am of the belief that PA2 is probably pronounced PIYA  and PA3 PAI, or the other way around. I need to put my hypothesis to the test in future translations of Linear B tablets, to see if it holds up. So whatever you do, do not take the pronunciation values I have assigned to PA2 and PA3 as accurate... because they are almost certainly not.

On the other hand, the Linear B Homophones we can identify and (roughly) pronounce are diphthongs (Greek), almost always 2 consecutive vowels, which are pronounced as one single gliding sound occurring n the same syllable, and are hence known as gliding vowels. Here are some examples of diphthongs in English:fair (ai is pronounced as one single gliding sound), ear, aisle (omitting the “s” of course), out, about, bier, pier.

Diphthongs are extremely common both in Linear B and in ancient alphabetic Greek.  In the table above, AI2 AI3 PA2 PA3 RA2 (RIYA) NWA DWE QWE PTE TWO SIYA (AU)  RAI TIYA  RIYO PU2 (PHU) & DWO are all homophones. In the next post, I will provide you with examples of a few words with diphthongs both in Linear B and in their ancient alphabetic Greek equivalents.  In the table above, the alphabetic Greek consonant(s) or vowels most closely approximating the Linear B diphthong are given with it.

Logogram: a logogram is a conventional abbreviated symbol for a a recurring word or phrase, in so far as it stands in for the word it symbolizes. Unfortunately, it is all to easy to confuse a logogram and an ideogram, and in some cases, the symbol may be both a logogram and an ideogram. In the table above SIYA (AU) RAI & DWO (DUO) may be regarded as logograms, but they are more properly designated as ideograms.

Ideogram: an ideogram is a written symbol which directly represents an object or an abstract idea, rather than any particular sound or sequence of sounds (i.e. syllables and whole words). Classical Chinese and Japanese are languages which rely almost exclusively on ideograms. Linear B frequently resorts to ideograms to represent commonly used objects and concepts, as a sort of shorthand to save precious space on the small tablets the scribes used to incise their accounts and records. This usage is quite unlike the approach of Oriental languages to written scripts, since the latter use ideograms to symbolize all words in their vocabulary, whereas Linear B employs ideograms only where the scribes wish to save valuable space on tablets, quite out of necessity more than anything else. In the table above SIYA (AU) RAI & DWO (DUO) are all ideograms, since SIYA means “a pig”, RAI means “saffron” and DWO (DUO) means either the number 2 or “weighing scales” or what is measured on the weighing scales, specifically the (extremely expensive) ancient monetary unit, the Talent, which had approximately the value of a gold ingot (but of what size we cannot know).

Richard