Learn How to Type Linear B FAST! - well, at least much faster than usual: Click to ENLARGE

Easy Guide to Mycenaean Linear B Font keyboard

Typically, keyboard layouts for Mycenaean Linear B are so abstruse that they actually confuse us more than they help us. I hope to remedy this messy state of affairs with this brand new keyboard layout for Mycenaean Linear B which I have just devised, with its own mnemonics and other guidelines for easy learning. Here are the keys to this keyboard layout:

KEYS:

Your first time round, you must download & install the Linear B Font by Curtis Clark, here: Click to go to the site and download the font:

Linear B Font Curtis Clark

Once you have installed the Linear B Font, you can then proceed to type anything you like in Linear B, by following these steps in order. 

(a) First you must change your Font from your default (Times New Roman, Georgia etc.) to Linear B
(b) Next, you should increase the size of your Linear B font 2 points up from your default font size in (a). Thus, if you default font size is 12 points, you should set the Linear B font to 14 points. You may also need to set the Linear B font to BOLD if it does not appear clearly enough to your satisfaction. This is up to you.

(c) SYLLABOGRAMS:

Syllabograms: If you start typing any linear series of 5 q w e r t y keyboard keys from the left to the right, you will be typing the entire series of a particular group of syllabograms from [consonant + a + e + i + o + u], as illustrated in the examples here:

If you type A S D F G, you will automatically get DA DE DI DO DU. Try it!
If you type a s d f g, you will automatically get TA TE TI TO TU.
If you type Z X C V B, you will automatically get NA NE NI NO NU.
If you type z x c v b, you will automatically get SA SE SI SO SU.
Etc.

NOTE the mnemonics, DATA & NASA, for the syllabogram series DATA = DA... + TA... and NASA for the syllabogram series NASA = NA... + SA... Think about it for a second or two, and you will get it. From then on in, it will be a cinch for you to  type DA... from A... & TA... from a... (DATA) + NA... from Z & SA from z... (NASA). Anyway, it is for me. If you don ’t like using mnemonics (memory reminders, the string on an elephant ’s trunk), you can just skip this part.

The only exception to this is the series: q w e r t (lower-case LC), which gives you the 5 vowels in order: a e i o u.

Some series of syllabograms are incomplete. In these cases, you do not have to type as far across the keyboard. For example:

If you type Y U I O, you will automatically get QA QE QI QO
If you type y u i o, you will automatically get WA WE WI WO

Examples of actual Linear B text (Latinized):

If you type .Vv, you get the word, KONOSO (Knossos)
If you type hef, you get the word, PAITO (Phaistos)
If you type Ep, you get thew word, AIZA (goat)
If you type qXLe[, you get the word, ANEMOIYERIYA (Priestess of the Winds)
 

(d) NUMERICS:

These are easy. Once you are in Linear B, 1 = 1, 2 = 2, 3 = 10... 5 = 100 8 = 2,000 etc. The only thing you need to remember is how many times to press each number key to write a large number in Linear B, e.g. for 43,537, type: 0 0 8 7 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1    

(e) HOMOPHONES:

Some series (some of which are also incomplete) yield only homophones. For example:

SHIFT 1 2 3 4 5 = ! @ # $ % yield the homophones: ha nwa pu2 rai riya.
[ ] \ yield the syllabograms YE & YO + the homophone -two- & when shifted to upper case (UC)
{ } | yield the syllabograms ZE & ZO + the homophone -dwo- (lower case! LC)

You will be typing homophones very rarely; so you don’t really need to learn these keys. Just refer to the chart when you need to type homophones (at a ratio of some 100 syllabograms per homophone, i.e. 100:1)

CLOSING THE LINEAR B FONT & SWTICHING BACK TO YOUR DEFAULT FONT:	

(A) You MUST follow these steps after you have finished typing text in Linear B.
(a) SAVE your document immediately in .doc or .docx format!
(b) SWITCH to your default font (e.g. Times New Roman or Georgia) and reduce your font size by 2 points (also remove BOLD if you used BOLD to type in Linear B).
(c) You may now continue typing in your default font. If Linear B still appears, and your default font does not, you have incorrectly followed this procedure. 

TO SWITCH BACK TO THE LINEAR B FONT:

(B) You MUST follow these steps to switch to the Linear B font, after you have finished typing text in your default font (Times New Roman or...)
(a) SAVE your document immediately in .doc or .docx format!
(b) SWITCH to the Linear B font and increase your font size by 2 points (also add BOLD if you want your Linear B text to stand out).
(c) You may now continue typing in Linear B. If your default font still appears, but Linear B does not, you have incorrectly followed this procedure.

Simply alternate from (A) to (B) to switch back and from your default font & Linear B. DO NOT OMIT ANY STEPS!

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TYPE LOGOGRAMS & IDEOGRAMS USING THE LINEAR B FONT.

Oh, and don’ t forget to print out this template of the Linear B font, laminate it in plastic and pin it to the wall above your computer for quick reference!

I shall illustrate how to insert these in your Linear B text in the next post. 


Richard