1887
Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Abstract

Abstract

This paper investigates the issue of orthographic variation in the Linear B writing system in order to explore ways in which studying a writing system’s orthographic conventions may shed light on the history of its development. Linear B was used in the palatial/administrative centres of Late Bronze Age Greece and Crete (c.1400–1200 B.C.E.) and records an early Greek dialect known as ‘Mycenaean’. The writing system’s structure and orthographic conventions permit flexibility in the spelling of particular phonological sequences: this paper discusses the varying orthographic representation of such sequences and shows that synchronic variation is common or even the norm in many cases. Investigating the factors which underlie this variation demonstrates the potential for a study of synchronic variation to illuminate a writing system’s diachronic development; it also underlines the importance of analysing the ways in which writers actually choose to use writing systems in order to fully understand their development.

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2020-03-30
2020-09-19
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Bronze Age Greece , Linear B , Mycenaean Greek , orthographic variation , orthography , syllabary and writing system

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