By Roger D. Woodard
Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer examines the starting place of the Greek alphabet. Departing from earlier bills, Roger Woodard locations the appearance of the alphabet inside an unbroken continuum of Greek literacy starting within the Mycenean period. He argues that the creators of the Greek alphabet, who tailored the Phoenician consonantal script, have been scribes conversant in writing Greek with the syllabic script of Cyprus. sure attribute gains of the Cypriot script--for instance, its method for representing consonant sequences and components of Cypriot Greek phonology--were transferred to the recent alphabetic script. providing a Cypriot starting place of the alphabet by the hands of formerly literate adapters brings readability to varied difficulties of the alphabet, resembling the Greek use of the Phoenician sibilant letters. The alphabet, rejected by way of the put up- Bronze Age "Mycenaean" tradition of Cyprus, was once exported west to the Aegean, the place it received a foothold between a then illiterate Greek humans rising from the darkish Age.
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Extra resources for Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer: A Linguistic Interpretation of the Origin of the Greek Alphabet and the Continuity of Ancient Greek Literacy
34 Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer We saw immediately above that the cluster-type [s] + stop was also problematic in the case of Sampson's analysis of Linear Β spelling. The nature of the problem is a bit different in the two instances, however. In the alphabetic inscriptions, sequences of word-internal [sJ + stop (as well as [sm] clusters) are not treated in a parallel fashion to word-initial clusters of the same type, to the extent that word-division more often than not divides the [s] from the following consonant.
T h e conventional treatments of the spelling of consonant clusters and wordfinal c o n s o n a n t s in the syllabic scripts of ancient Greek, such as those of Yen tri s and C h a d w i c k and of Masson, are reasonably adequate for the mere description of the spelling used to represent any particular consonantal configuration, given the a s s u m p t i o n s about Greek syllable structure which each m a k e s . 2 2 It would be highly desirable, however, to discover s o m e general principle, or at least a very minimal set of such principles, w h i c h underlies the spelling rules of each script and which is perhaps even c o m m o n to both the M y c e n a e a n and Cypriot systems, There h a v e been a n u m b e r of attempts to do so, and a consideration of these e f f o r t s is the subject of the next two chapters.
In the case of the name laristi\):nj if we should place the js| in the preceding syllable or if we should arrange it in the following (syllable!. For if, . . because the jsj . . i s arranged this way and not that way, |aristiç>:n] became |de:pm\>:n| (just as some witty person says), it would be appropriate not to be indifferent. But if . . |aristig:n| is always [aristiyaij, whether we should place the |s] with the |i| or with the [t|, then what is the need of the lengthy and empty moronic discourse of the grammarians concerning these things?