Tag Archive: active



KEY! The all-pervasive present participle active in Mycenaean Linear B & in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects:

Table of attributed (A) and derived (D) present participles actives in Mycenaean Linear B & in Attic Greek:


the-present-participle-active-in-mycenaean-linear-b

NOTE: It is crucial that you read all of the notes in this table in their entirety; otherwise, a sound grasp of the conjugation of the present participle, especially of the feminine singular, in Mycenaean Linear B will not make any sense whatsoever.

The present participle active was all-pervasive and extremely common in both Mycenaean Linear B & in all subsequent ancient Greek dialects. It was heavily used to express continuous action in the present tense as well as accompaniment, i.e. to indicate that someone or something was with someone or something else. Thus, in Mycenaean Linear B, the phrase eo qasireu could mean either “being an overlord” or “with an overlord”, just as in Attic Greek eon basileus could mean either “being king” or “with the king”. As I have pointed out in the table above, the word qasireu never meant “king” in Mycenaean Linear B, since king was always wanaka. The qasireu was a lower ranking supernumerary, something equivalent to an overlord or baron.

Another point which we simply must keep uppermost in mind is the fact that digamma (pronounced something like “wau” or “vau”, was extremely common in both Mycenaean Linear B and its kissing cousin dialect, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, only falling permanently out of use in ancient Greek after the decline of these two dialects (Linear B, ca. 1600-1200 BCE & Linear C, ca. 1100-400 BCE). As is clearly attested by the table above, the feminine singular form of the present participle active, which was characterized by the all-pervasive presence of digamma in Mycenaean Linear B & in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, had completely shed digamma even as early as the artificial amalgam, Homeric Epic Greek, even though digamma was still pronounced in the Iliad. 


The 3 derived (D) tenses of active optative of athematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as represented by the template verb, didomi:

Here is the chart of the 3 derived (D) tenses of active optative athematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as represented by the template verb, didomi:

athematic-mi-optative-active-verbs-template-didomi-in-mycenaean-linear-b

Note that in the second example sentence in Mycenaean Greek, since the verb didomi is in the future active optative, the Mycenaean Linear B infinitive nikase = to defeat, must also be in the future. This is just another one of those remarkable eminently logical subtleties of ancient Greek, including Mycenaean. 
 
As you can see for yourself, I have been unable to reconstruct a paradigm table for the perfect active optative of athematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as represented by the template verb, didomi. Since I have been unable to find any instances of that tense in any ancient Greek dialect, I am driven to conclude that it could not have existed in Mycenaean Linear B either. This is in contrast with the paradigm table for the active optative tenses of thematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, of which there are 4, as attested to here:

thematic-mi-post

Since in this previous post I outlined almost all of the uses of the active optative in ancient Greek, including Mycenaean Linear B, there is no point rehashing these uses here. Simply refer back to the post to glean as full a grasp the multiple uses of the active optative as you can, on the understanding of course that you are already familiar with least Attic grammar.  If you are not versed in ancient Greek grammar, even if you are in modern Greek (in which there is no optative mood), there is really not much point to mastering all of the uses of the active optative in ancient Greek, except in so far as a basic understanding at least may offer you at least some insight into the more subtle and arcane operations of ancient Greek, of which there are plenty, as you might have already imagined by this point.


Reduplication in the perfect active of the verb pine = to drink, derived (D) from the attested (A) perfect active of kaue = to burn in Mycenaean Linear B:

The attested perfect active of the Mycenaean Linear B verb, kaue = to burn, serves as the template upon which any number of derived (D) verbs in the active perfect may be extrapolated. This table illustrates this process:

mycenaean-linear-b-kekausa-pepoka-perfect

In order to form the active perfect tense, the ancient Greeks usually (but not always) resorted to the technique of reduplication, whereby the first syllable of the verb is prepended to the initial syllable of the conjugation of the same verb in the aorist (simple past), with this proviso, that the orthography of first syllable, or in Mycenaean Linear B, the vowel of the first syllabogram, is morphed into e from the initial vowel of the first syllable of the aorist, which is usually a or o in the aorist, prior to reduplication. Thus, in Mycenaean Linear B, the first syllabogram must reflect the same change. Hence, ekausa (aorist) = I burned (once only) becomes kekausa (perfect) = I have burned, while epoka (aorist) = I drank (once only) becomes pepoka= I have drunk. This transformation is critical, since both the aorist and the perfect active tense are very common in ancient Greek.

For the first time in history, the complete conjugations of 5 major derived (D) active indicative tenses of thematic verbs in Linear B progressive grammar:

The tenses of active thematic verbs are:
the present indicative active
the future indicative active
the imperfect indicative active
the aorist indicative active
the perfect indicative active

Here is are the 2 tables (A & B) of the complete derived (D) conjugations of these 5 tenses of the active thematic verb kaue = the archaic ancient Greek kauein (Latinized), to set on fire:
 
aa-present-future-imperfect

ab-aorist-pluperfect

The ability of a linguist specializing in Mycenaean Linear B, i.e. myself, to cognitively restore no fewer than 5 active tenses of thematic verbs by means of progressive Mycenaean Greek derived (D) grammar boils down to one impressive feat. However, I have omitted the pluperfect indicative active, since it was rarely used in any and all of the numerous dialects of ancient Greek, right on down from Mycenaean to Arcado-Cypriot to Aeolic, Ionic and Attic Greek, and indeed right on through the Hellenistic and New Testament eras. So since the pluperfect tense is as rare as it is, why bother reconstructing it? At least, this is my rationale. Other researchers and linguists specializing in Mycenaean Linear B may disagree. That is their perfect right.  

Is Mycenaean Greek in Linear B a proto-Greek dialect? Absolutely not!

There are still a few researchers and historical linguists specializing in Mycenaean Linear B who would have us believe that Mycenaean Greek is a proto-Greek dialect. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that so many fully developed grammatical forms are attested (A) on Linear B tablets confirms once and for all that Mycenaean Greek is the earliest intact East Greek dialect. Among the numerous grammatical forms attested (A) in Mycenaean Greek, we count: [1] verbs, including infinitives active and some passive for both thematic and athematic MI verbs; a sufficient number of verbs either in the active present or aorist tenses; a considerable number of participles, especially perfect passive; and even the optative case in the present tense, [2] nouns & adjectives, for which we find enough attested (A) examples of these declined in the nominative singular and plural, the genitive singular and plural and the dative/instrumental/ablative singular & plural. The accusative singular and plural appear to be largely absent from the Linear B tablets, but appearances can be deceiving, as I shall soon convincingly demonstrate. Also found on the extant Linear B tablets are the comparative and superlative of adjectives, and [3] almost all of the prepositions to be found in later ancient Greek dialects. Taken altogether, these extant attributed (A) grammatical elements form a foundation firm enough to recreate templates for all of the aforementioned elements in a comprehensive derived (D) progressive Mycenaean Linear B grammar. If you are still not convinced, I simply refer you to the previous post, where examples of many of  these grammatical elements are accounted for.  Moreover, once I have completely recompiled ancient Mycenaean Greek grammar, you should be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mycenaean Greek was the very first true ancient Greek dialect.

What is progressive derived (D) Mycenaean Linear B grammar? 

By progressive I mean nothing less than as full a restoration as possible of the corpus of ancient Mycenaean Greek grammar by means of the procedure of regressive extrapolation of the (exact) equivalents of any and all grammatical elements I shall have reconstructed from the two major sources of slightly later archaic Greek, namely: (a) the Arcado-Cypriot dialect, in which documents were composed in the Linear C syllabary, a direct offshoot of Mycenaean Linear B (Even though the two syllabaries look scarcely alike, the symbolic values of their syllabograms are in almost all instances practically identical), and from so-called Epic Greek, which was comprised of diverse elements haphazardly drawn from various archaic Greek dialects, in other words yielding nothing less than a mess, but a viable one nonetheless.

At this juncture, I must emphatically stress that, contrary to common opinion among ancient Greek literary scholars not familiar with either Mycenaean Linear B or Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, the gap between the scribal Linear B tablets and the next appearance of written ancient Greek is not around 400 years (1200-800 BCE), as they would have it, but only one century. Why so? Hard on the heels of the collapse of the Mycenaean Empire and of its official script, Linear B, ca. 1200 BCE, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C first appeared in writing a mere 100 years after, give or take. The revised timeline for the disappearance and reappearance of written Greek is illustrated here:

revised-timeline-for-the-reappearance-of-written-ancient-greek    
If this is not convincing enough, Mycenaean Greek’s intimate cousin, Arcado-Cypriot, of which the syllabary is Linear C, is even more closely related to Mycenaean Greek than Ionic is to Attic Greek. In fact, you could say that they are kissing cousins. Now it stands to reason that, if Arcado-Cypriot in Linear C is a fully developed East Greek dialect, as it most certainly is (subsisting at least 700 years, from 1100 – 400 BCE), then it follows as day does night that Mycenaean Linear B must also be a fully functional East Greek dialect (in fact, the first). The two factors addressed above should lay to rest once and for all that Mycenaean Greek is merely proto-Greek. That is sheer nonsense.


CRITICAL POST! Progressive Linear B grammar: active thematic aorist infinitives in Mycenaean Linear B: Phase 3

With the addition of this table of active thematic aorist infinitives:

thematic-aorist-infinitives-in-mycenaean-linear-b-620

we have completed the first 3 stages in the reconstruction of the grammar of natural Mycenaean Greek as it was spoken between ca. 1600 (or earlier) and 1200 BCE. These stages are: 1. the present infinitive 2. the future infinitive & 3. the aorist infinitive. Although there were other infinitives in ancient Greek, they were rarely used, and so we are omitting them from our progressive grammar.

While it is a piece of cake to physically form the aorist infinitive either in ancient alphabetic Greek or in Mycenaean Linear B, the same cannot be said for the innate meaning of the aorist infinitive. What does it signify? Why would anyone even bother with a past infinitive when a present one does just fine? What are the distinctions between the present, future and aorist infinitives in ancient Greek and in Mycenaean Linear B?

ANALYSIS & SYNOPSIS:

What is the meaning of the aorist infinitive or, put another way, what does it signify?

While the use of the present infinitive corresponds exactly with infinitives in almost all other Occidental languages, ancient and modern, the same cannot be said of the future and aorist infinitives in ancient Greek and Mycenaean, for which there are, in so far as I know, no equivalents in modern Centum languages.

The impact of understanding the future infinitive on grasping the aorist in ancient Greek.

First, the future infinitive. We feel obliged to review its function in order to prepare you for the even more esoteric aorist infinitive. The future infinitive is used when the sentence is in either the present or the future. How can it be used with a verb in the present tense? The reason is relatively straightforward to grasp. If the speaker or writer wishes to convey that he or she expects or intends the infinitive modifying the principle verb to take effect immediately, then the infinitive too must be in the present tense. But if the same author  expects or intends the action the infinitive conveys to take place in the (near) future, then the infinitive must be future, even though the main verb is in the present tense.  The distinction is subtle but critical to the proper meaning or intent of any Greek sentence employing a future infinitive with a verb in the present tense. The best way to illustrate this striking feature of ancient Greek is with English language parallels, as we did in the post on future infinitives. But to make matters as clear as possible, we repeat, here in the present tense, the 2 sentences I previously posted in Latinized Linear B along with the English translation. First we have,

Konoso wanaka eqetai qe katakause etoimi eesi.
The King and his military guard are prepared to set about burning Knossos to the ground.
Compare this with:
Konoso wanaka eqetai qe katakaue etoimi eesi.
The King and his military guard are prepared to burn Knossos to the ground. 

In the first instance, the subjects (King and military guard) are prepared to raze Knossos in the near future, but not right away. This why I have translated the infinitive katakause as – to set about burning Knossos to the ground.

But in the second case, the King and his military guard are prepared to burn Knossos to the ground immediately. The future does not even enter into the equation.

In the second example, we have:

Wanaka tekotono wanakatero peraise poroesetai.
The King is allowing the carpenters to soon set about finishing the palace.
(future infinitive)... versus   
Wanaka tekotono wanakatero peraie poroesetai. (present infinitive)...
The King allows the carpenters to finish the palace. (i.e. right away).

The distinction is subtle. But if you are to understand ancient Greek infinitives, including Mycenaean, you must be able to make this distinction. The question is, why have I resorted to repeating the synopsis of the future infinitive, when clearly the subject of our present discussion is the aorist or past infinitive? The answer is... because if you cannot understand how the future infinitive works in ancient Greek and Mycenaean, then you will never grasp how the aorist infinitive functions.

What is the aorist infinitive and how does it function?

The aorist infinitive describes or delineates actions or states dependent on the main verb which have already occurred in the (recent) past. It can be used with principal verbs in the present or past (aorist or imperfect), but never with those in the future. Once again, the distinction between the present and aorist active thematic infinitives is, if anything, even subtler than is that between the future and present infinitives. Allow me to illustrate with two examples in Latinized Linear B.

First:

Wanaka poremio taneusai edunato.
The King was in a position to have put an end to the war (clearly implying he did not put an end to it).
Note that the main verb, edunato = was able to, is itself in the past imperfect tense.  But this sentence can also be cast in the present tense, thus:

Wanaka poremio taneusai dunetai. 
The King is in a position to have put an end to the war.
In this case, the use of the aorist infinitive is not mandatory. But if it is used, it still signifies that the aorist infinitive operates in the past, and it is quite clear from the context that he could have ended the war, but never did.

Compare this with the use of the present infinitive in the same sentence. 

Wanaka poremio taneue dunetai.
The King is able to put an end to the war (immediately!)
To complicate matters even further, even if the main verb is in the simple past (aorist) or the imperfect (also a past tense), you can still use the present infinitive, as in:

Wanaka poremio taneue edunato. 
The King was able to put an end to the war (right away).
This clearly calls for the present infinitive, which always takes effect at the very same time as the primary verb.

Although the analysis and synopsis above makes perfect sense to students and researchers familiar with ancient Greek, it is difficult for newcomers to ancient Greek to grasp the first time they are confronted with it. But patience is the key here. By dint of a large number of examples, it will eventually sink in.

So as the old saying goes, do not panic! 


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in U = 516

In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in U. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic active present infinitives starting with the Greek letter U:


linear-b-infinitives-in-u-620

This constitutes the very last table of present infinitives active we are posting. The grand total of present infinitives we have tabulated thus comes to 516. Of course, this is but a small representative cross-sampling of the present infinitives we could have covered. However, I decided from the very outset to limit myself to those present infinitives which would be the most likely to have been used the most frequently in natural, spoken and written Mycenaean Greek. So the list is of necessity arbitrary.

It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The GRAND TOTAL of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted comes to 516.

Now that we are finished with both present and future infinitives active in Mycenaean Greek, the next step is to address aorist or simple past infinitives. If anything, the aorist infinitive active, which was used very frequently in ancient Greek, right on down from the Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects to the Ionic, Athenian and New Testament Greek, is conceptually rather difficult for modern day students of Greek to grasp. However, we shall do our best to make the experience less painful.

Once we have tabulated a dozen or so examples of aorist infinitives, we shall then proceed to reconstruct Mycenaean Greek grammar from the ground up. This is a huge undertaking which of course has never been assayed before. But it is my profound belief and conviction that it must be done. The post immediately following the one on the aorist infinitive will introduce the outline of all aspects of Mycenaean grammar I intend to cover... and there is a lot of it.     


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in S = 487

In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in S. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter S:

mycenaean-linear-b-nfinitives-in-s-620

It is absolutely de rigueur to read the NOTES on Mycenaean versus ancient archaic Greek orthography in the chart above. Otherwise, the Linear B sentences will not make any sense.

It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 487.


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in R = Greek = 423:

In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in R. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter R:


mycenaean-linear-b-infinitives-in-r-620

It is absolutely de rigueur to read the NOTES on Mycenaean versus ancient archaic Greek orthography in the chart above. Otherwise, the Linear B sentences will not make any sense.

It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 423.


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in P Part B =  407

In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in P (Part B). Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter P (Part B) in Mycenaean Greek:

mycenaean-linear-b-infinitives-in-p-part-b-620

SPECIAL NOTES:
Since the first chart was so full of errors, I have had to extensively revise it.
* Since it is impossible for two consonants to follow one another in Linear B, the Greek prefix pro must be rendered as poro in Linear B.
** The verb prodokei is an impersonal perfect verb in the third person singular only. All impersonal verbs in Mycenaean Greek are in the third person singular. Some are in the passive.   

It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 407.


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in I = 18/Total = 114

In this post we find 18 derived (D) infinitives in I in natural Mycenaean Greek.

Here is the table of attested thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter I in Mycenaean Greek:

i-derived-infinitives620

It is absolutely essential to read the 2 Notes [1] and [2] in the table above, since they explain critical differences between ancient archaic Greek and Mycenaean Linear B orthography of the same verbs (or any words, for that matter).

The 4 sentences make it perfectly clear that we are dealing with natural Mycenaean Greek as it was actually spoken. Note that the natural plural in OI is to found in spoken Mycenaean, rather than the singular in O we find almost (but not always) exclusively on the extant Linear B tablets. 

It is also highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 24 A + 12 D + 35 E + 25 Z, EI, TH + 18 I for a TOTAL of 114. I shall indicate the running total as we proceed through the alphabet.


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in E = 35

In this post we find 35 derived (D) infinitives in E in natural Mycenaean Greek.

Here is the table of attested thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter E in Mycenaean Greek:

e-derived-infinitives620

The 4 sentences in E make it perfectly clear that we are dealing with natural Mycenaean Greek as it was actually spoken. Note that the natural plural in OI is to found in spoken Mycenaean, rather than the singular in O we find almost (but not always) exclusively on the extant Linear B tablets. See infinitives in D for a further explanation for this phenomenon.

It is also highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 24 A + 12 D + 35 E for a TOTAL of 71. I shall indicate the running total as we proceed through the alphabet.


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in D = 12:

In this post we find 12 derived (D) infinitives in natural Mycenaean Greek.

Here is the table of attested thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter D in Mycenaean Greek:

d-derived-infinitives-620

The 4 sentences after the 12 verbs in D make it absolutely clear that we are dealing with natural Mycenaean Greek as it was actually spoken. It is also highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were.

Thematic Verbs:

Active Voice:

These are the so-called standard verbs, which are by far the most common in all ancient Greek dialects. Thematic verbs are sub-classed into three voices, active, middle and passive.

Middle Voice:

The middle voice is unique to ancient Greek, and is self-referential, by which we mean the subject acts upon him- or herself or of his or her own volition. The middle voice also includes reflexive verbs. I am posting the first person singular of verbs in the middle voice, as it is far more common than the infinitive.

Athematic Verbs:

Athematic verbs are far less common than thematic, but they are the most ancient of ancient Greek verbs. They have already appeared completely intact by the time Mycenaean Greek has entrenched itself. The Mycenaean conjugations of athematic verbs are very similar, and in some cases identical to, their conjugations in much later Ionic and Attic Greek, and must therefore be considered the root and stem of the same class of verbs in later classical Greek. The fact that athematic verbs were already fully developed by the era of Mycenaean Greek is a strong indicator that the Mycenaean dialect is not proto-Greek, but the first fully operative ancient East Greek dialect. We shall demonstrate over and over that Mycenaean Greek was the primordial fully functional East Greek dialect which was to be adopted and adapted by the later East Greek dialects (Ionic and Attic among others). I am posting the first person singular of athematic verbs, as it is far more common than the infinitive.

The reconstruction of natural language Mycenaean grammar by means of the methodology of progressive grammar is to be the subject of my fourth article in the prestigious international journal, Archaeology and Science, Vol. 13 (2017). The concept of progressive grammar is actually quite easy to grasp. It merely designates the reconstruction of natural, as opposed to inventorial, Mycenaean Greek grammar from the ground up. By the time I have finished with this project, I shall have reconstructed a huge cross-section of natural Mycenaean grammar, approaching the grammar of later East Greek dialects in its comprehensiveness.

NOTES:
[1]There are two (2) verbs in the middle voice under D. These are dekomai and dunamai.
[2] There are no athematic MI verbs under D.
[3]In the natural Mycenaean Greek language, the nominative masculine plural always ends in oi, e.g. tosoi. This is in contrast to the formalized, fossilized Greek of Linear B inventories, which very rarely give any words in the nominative masculine plural. Instead, the extant Linear B tablets simply give the words in the singular, e.g. toso.
[4]In the natural Mycenaean Greek language, the nominative feminine plural always ends in ai, e.g. heketai (which is actually a masculine noun with feminine endings). This is in contrast to the formalized, fossilized Greek of Linear B inventories, which very rarely give any words in the nominative masculine plural. Instead, the extant Linear B tablets simply give the words in the singular, e.g. heketa.

There are exceptions to attested plurals on the tablets. The nominative masculine plural of teo (god) is teoi, exactly as it appears in natural Mycenaean Greek. This is because the word teo is not a word found in inventories, but rather in religious texts, mimicking the natural language. It is the template upon which the nominative masculine plural of all words in natural Mycenaean Greek is formed.  

The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 24 A + 12 D for a TOTAL of 36. I shall indicate the running total as we proceed through the alphabet.


Progressive Linear B Grammar: Verbs/Derived (D) Infinitives: A = 24

Beginning with this post, we shall be constructing a Lexicon of Derived (D) Infinitives in Mycenaean Linear B. This post lists all 24 derived verbs I have selected classed under A. The methodology whereby we reconstruct derived verbs, not attested (A) anywhere on any Linear B tablets, is termed retrogressive extrapolation, by which I mean that we draw each entry in alphabetical order from an ancient Greek dictionary, accounting for throwbacks to archaic East Greek, since that is what the Mycenaean dialect is. The dictionary we are using is the Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary. Since the entries in the classical dictionary are in Attic Greek, they frequently require readjustment to reflect their much earlier orthography in archaic Greek. I have also taken the liberty of selecting only those verbs of which the spelling is identical or very close to what would have been their orthography in Mycenaean Greek. This is because Mycenaean orthography is often problematic, insofar as it frequently omits a consonant preceding the consonant which follows it. Additionally, since Mycenaean Greek is represented by a syllabary, in which each syllable must end in a vowel, it is impossible for the spelling of a great many words (let alone verbs) to accurately correspond to the orthography of the same words in later ancient Greek dialects. So I have decided to omit such verbs for the sake of simplicity. Finally, since there are so many verbs under each letter of the Greek alphabet, I have had to be very selective in choosing the verbs I have decided to include in this Lexicon, omitting scores of verbs which would have qualified just as well for inclusion as the verbs I have chosen.

a-derived-infinitives-620

 

 


Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Verbs/Infinitives:

As of this post, we shall be reconstructing natural Mycenaean Linear B grammar from the ground up. When I refer to natural Mycenaean Linear B, I mean not merely the Linear B extant grammatical forms in the standardized, formulaic and fossilized language of inventories which we encounter on extant Linear B tablets, but grammatical forms common to the entire natural, spoken language. While we do not have any direct evidence of the syntactical construction of the spoken language, we can nevertheless largely reconstruct grammatical forms in natural Mycenaean Greek.  Such reconstructed forms are referred to as derived.

In this post, we introduce attested Mycenaean Linear B infinitives only, i.e. those which are found on extant tablets. In the next post, we shall feature a considerable number of derived infinitives, which are nowhere to be found on the extant tablets, but which nevertheless can be reconstructed with relative ease.

Linear B verbs, just as all verbs in every East Greek dialect down from Mycenaean to early and late Ionic and Attic, among other dialects, are classified as follows:

Thematic Verbs:

These are the so-called standard verbs, which are by far the most common in all ancient Greek dialects. Thematic verbs are sub-classed into three voices, active, middle and passive. The middle voice is unique to ancient Greek, and is self-referential, by which we mean the subject acts upon him- or herself or of his or her own volition. The middle voice also includes reflexive verbs.

Athematic Verbs:

Athematic verbs are far less common than thematic, but they are the most ancient of ancient Greek verbs. They have already appeared completely intact by the time Mycenaean Greek has entrenched itself. The Mycenaean conjugations of athematic verbs are very similar, and in some cases identical to, their conjugations in much later Ionic and Attic Greek, and must therefore be considered the root and stem of the same class of verbs in later classical Greek. The fact that athematic verbs were already fully developed by the era of Mycenaean Greek is a strong indicator that the Mycenaean dialect is not proto-Greek, but the first fully operative ancient East Greek dialect. We shall demonstrate over and over that Mycenaean Greek was the primordial fully functional East Greek dialect which was to be adopted and adapted by the later East Greek dialects (Ionic and Attic among others).

The reconstruction of natural language Mycenaean grammar by means of the methodology of progressive grammar is to be the subject of my fourth article in the prestigious international journal, Archaeology and Science, Vol. 13 (2017). The concept of progressive grammar is actually quite easy to grasp. It merely designates the reconstruction of natural, as opposed to inventorial, Mycenaean Greek grammar from the ground up. By the time I have finished with this project, I shall have reconstructed a huge cross-section of natural Mycenaean grammar, approaching the grammar of later East Greek dialects in its comprehensiveness.

Here is the table of attested thematic and athematic infinitives in Mycenaean Greek:

mycenaean-linear-b-infinitives-620



Conjugations in the present active and middle of 9 common Greek verbs in Linear B:

Introduction: we now take the Theory of Progressive Linear B one step further, by illustrating its eminently successful application to the Greek Middle Voice in the present tense.  This is the one and only conjugation in Linear B which remains fully intact, and as such it fundamentally serves  to validate the Theory of Progressive Linear B Grammar, and it does so nicely, thank you very much.  For those of you who are not familiar with ancient Greek, I suggest once again that it is probably better for your sanity not to read this post, as it discusses the minutiae of one of the most convoluted grammatical concepts in Greek, ancient or modern, the function of the Middle Voice, which unless you already know Greek, is so maddeningly difficult to get a handle on that is probably not worth your trouble.  But I know that, regardless of what I say, some of you more adventurous “curious cats” will storm right ahead anyway… and who can blame you for that? If you do manage a basic understanding of the notion of the Middle Voice, all the more power to you.  In fact, leave me a comment bragging about your marvelous feat.  It took me three months (!) to really get a  grip on the Middle Voice when I first learned Greek.  Finally, one day the light came on, I shouted the proverbial “EUREKA!”, and ever since then there’s been no looking back !  Anyway, here is the table of conjugations of the present tense of 9 of the most common verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, one of which just so happens to be in the Middle Voice, either a disaster or a blessing, depending.  So why not give it yourself a shot? Here we go! CLICK to ENLARGE:

Progressive Linear B Present Tense Active & Middle600

I offer up another of my typically copious and convoluted “notes” (much like the labyrinth of Knossos) for your entertainment, enlightenment or nervous breakdown, as the case may be.  A bit of humour never hurt anyone, eh?  I know it practically drove me mad to compile them in the first place.  So here we go again! CLICK to ENLARGE:

NOTES

Richard

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