Minoan is an IE language?

anthony.appleyard@umist.ac.uk anthony.appleyard at UMIST.AC.UK
Thu Mar 1 14:29:55 UTC 2001

On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 18:08:55 -0800, Stanley Friesen <sarima at friesen.net>

> From at least two places I have recently heard it suggested that the
> Minoan language (as written in Linear A) is an IE language, perhaps even
> related to the Anatolian branch (especially Luwian). ...

Could some of the Linear A inscriptions be different languages? Homer said
that in Crete there were many languages. It could be that for a time
some or all of pre-IE speakers, non-IE descendants of the Sea Peoples
migrants, Anatolian speakers. Semitic Phoenicians who had sailed in, and
Greeks, lived there together. Communication in much of Crete was difficult
(ignoring the modern motor roads), and the biggest possible freight load was
what can be carried by the biggest possible mule; Crete for superhighways
merely had "kalderimia", which are paved mule tracks, very liable on steep
ground to turn into flights of steps, impassible to wheels. Linear B records
go into chariots at great length, but what were they used for? Not likely
for routine war and travel within Crete. And even if I did manage to
mule-pack the chariots and lead their horses to a flat battleground such as
the Lassithi Plain, I would find it full of strongly built stone field walls
and no use for chariots. And the people in the next valley could speak
another language and hold onto it due to lack of long-range communication.

More information about the Indo-european mailing list