Christian Touratier (Université de Provence)
Système et substance dans le déchiffrement du linéaire B
Abstract : Whereas there is no bilingual document, Michael Ventris, a young architect, succeeded in deciphering the Cretan writing called the linear B on the tablets found first at Knossos and then at Pylos and Mycenas. Because the linear B separated words by small vertical bars, Ventris sought and guessed the semantic and morphological properties of words; he studied the same words in different combinations and the different morphological variations inside the words. In the same way as in the distributional analysis of Harris which defines words by their distribution, i.e. their immediate context, he studied the contexts of syllabic signs in the words, and he deduced their “consonant equations” or “vowel equations” from that. In this way he constructed the syllabary of the linear B, but he neither knew what word nor what language it was. The phonic substance will appear thanks to place names, ideograms, or syllabic Chypriot similar signs. And when some syllabic signs receive a phonic substance, other signs also do, because of their position in the syllabic system. And Ventris progressively found a lot of Greek words in the linear B, while he was looking for Etruscan words.
Pour citer ce document
CHRISTIAN TOURATIER (2009) «Système et substance dans le déchiffrement du linéaire B», [En ligne], Volume XIV - n°3 (2009). Coordonné par François Laurent.,