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Title: Understanding linear a through the lens of maritime history during the bronze age
Authors: Tan, Kimberly Miracle Wei Yan
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Tan, K. M. W. Y. (2022). Understanding linear a through the lens of maritime history during the bronze age. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The language of the writing system of the Minoan civilisation in Crete, known as Linear A, dating back to the Early Bronze Age and first part of the Middle Bronze Age, is still undeciphered up till present day. Maritime trade was prevalent during the Bronze Age and therefore this study aims to understand the impact of economic and cultural factors on the language of the Minoan civilisation. This was done mainly through identifying the potential influence of the languages of civilisations in trading contact with the Minoan civilisation. Specifically, this study attempts to recognise the possibility of more than one language having influenced the Minoan language. Consequently, the goal of this study is to contribute to the future decipherment of Linear A. This study assumes that the Linear A texts mainly recorded vocabulary words. Digitalised copies of Linear A inscriptions available on the GORILA database, were first transcribed using the phonetic values of Linear B. After which, the identifiable Linear A clusters were reconstructed to all possible cluster combinations, before being compared with the dictionaries of Proto-Semitic, Ancient Egyptian, and Hittite. Ancient dictionaries were thus used, as the focus was on the vocabulary of the ancient languages. Furthermore, these ancient languages were used in areas geographically connected to Crete by sea, specifically through trade, and chronologically close to the use of Linear A, making them suitable for consideration. Analysis was made based on potential words identified in the ancient dictionaries, in relation to the orthographic similarities with the reconstructed clusters of Linear A, in order to perceive the possible relations and extent of combined influences of those ancient languages on the Minoan language. Out of the three languages, Middle Egyptian and Common Semitic show the most potential as being possible influences on the language encoding Linear A. However, the nature of this study relied largely on guesswork, and results obtained at this stage still cannot be considered conclusive.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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