Tag Archive: paradigms

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:


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:


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.

THEORY 2.3.1:Correlation in Progressive Reconstruction of Linear B Grammar: Present Tense Active of Verbs in KEE:

Having Applied the Principle of Regressive Extrapolation from the Ionic/Attic conjugation of e1xein to the same Mycenaean verb, EKEE, we are in the position to conjugate the present tense of most Linear B verbs, of which the stem of the present infinitive * ends with KEE, since almost all verbs of this class must be conjugated exactly the same way as EKEE.  This we achieve by correlating the conjugation of almost all Linear B verbs of which the stem of the present infinitive ends with KEE with the conjugation of our paradigm verb, EKEE.  This hypothesis is borne out by the correlation of the conjugation of the Mycenaean verb AKEE (Ionic/Attic a1gein), to lead, guide, with that of our paradigm verb, EKEE, to have:

Mycanaean Verbs in KEE

Any regular verb ending in KEE, for which the conjugation of the present tense active is derived from and identical to that of the paradigm verb, EKEE, I call a correlative verb.  Hence, AKEE is a correlative verb.

Theory Corollary 

As a corollary to Theory 3.3.1, we may safely assume that the conjugation of the paradigm verb (EKEE) and that of any derived, correlative verb, regardless of the verb and regardless of its attested or derivative forms, must be identical. In other words, once we have established the conjugation of the paradigm verb, EKEE, it makes no difference whatsoever whether or not any of its correlative verbs has only some of the attested forms present in the paradigm verb.  A rose is a rose is a rose.  Thus, the conjugation of any correlative verb must be the same as that of the paradigm verb, even if the correlative verb has only one attested form. I shall soon carry this principle even further. Those of you familiar with Linear B should readily deduce what the next is in the Principle of Correlation.

Irregular verbs ending KEE are not susceptible to the principle of correlation.

In the next post, I shall display a Table of Present Infinitives ending in KEE for attested verbs found on Linear B tablets (to the best of my knowledge).


* In Ancient Greek, the infinitive can be in the present, future aorist (simple past) or perfect tense, although in reality the tense of the Greek infinitive has little or nothing to do with time, but with aspect, a peculiarly Greek phenomenon, which I am not defining for the moment, for fear of confusing those of you unfamiliar with ancient Greek.  

** The ultima is the last syllable of a word.
The penult (penultimate) is the next to last syllable of a word, i.e. the second syllable before the end of a word.
The antepenult (antepenultimate) is the next to next last syllable of a word, i.e. the third syllable before the end of a word.     

THEORY: Preamble to The Principle of Regressive Extrapolation in Progressive Reconstruction Linear B Grammar: Historical Background

By way of introduction, we need to understand that Linear B is the earliest attested extant Greek dialect, dating from ca. 1450-1200 BCE (though there may have been others we have not yet discovered), with Cypro-Minoan Linear C (ca 1200-500 BCE) following close on its heels. In order to put the historical chronology of these two dialects into proper perspective, I am re-posting here my Revised Time Line for Written Greek (Linear B, Linear C and Greek alphabet): CLICK to enlarge:

Revised Timeline for Written Greek (Linear B - Linear C - Greek Alphabet)

Written Greek, Linear B, Cyprriot Syllabary, Linear C, Homeric Greek, Classical Greek

For a detailed discussion on my revised timeline for written Greek, which is highly pertinent to this post, see POST:


In order to reconstruct the paradigms of Linear B grammar in all categories (verbal, adverbial nominal, pronominal, adjectival, prepositional, proclitic, enclitic * and the like), it is necessary for me to derive these forms from their later equivalents in the ancient Greek alphabet, preferably from the dialects most closely allied with Linear B, generally accepted as being Cypro-Minoan Linear C (1200-500 B.C.) and the Cyprian, Cretan and Acrado-Cyprian alphabetic dialects of ancient Greek, as outlined in The Dialects of Ancient Greek, by C.D. Buck [Bristol Classical Press, © 1995 & 1998 (Chicago University Press: 378 pp. ISBN 1-85399-556-8] This book in particular provides inscriptions in these dialects, of which all except one are Greek alphabetic, the exception being Cypro-Minoan Linear C.

However, inscriptions in these dialects are few and far between. Given this scenario, the only other recourse I have must be to the Homeric Greek “Epic dialect”, which is not a dialect at all, but merely a concatenation of several early Greek alphabetic dialects, all of which Homer has adapted to suit his metrical needs… a rather complex subject in and of itself, which is not something I intend to address in this blog, except where such considerations enter directly into the analysis of grammatical and syntactical properties of Mycenaean Linear B. Failing regressive analysis from Cyprian, Cretan and Acrado-Cyprian on the one hand, and Epic Homeric Greek on the other, I have no recourse but to regressively extrapolate Mycenaean grammatical forms relevant to my needs from their equivalents Classical Attic-Ionic Greek.

In some instances, the reconstruction of certain Mycenaean grammatical forms is relatively easy, since these are, by and large, remarkably similar in most ancient Greek dialects. One of these is the conjugation of the Mycenaean verb EKEE, “to have”, as categorized & summarized in the previous post.


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