Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer: A Linguistic Interpretation of the Origin of the Greek Alphabet and the Continuity of Ancient Greek Literacy
Oxford University Press, 12 juin 1997 - 304 pages
Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer examines the origin of the Greek alphabet. Departing from previous accounts, Roger Woodard places the advent of the alphabet within an unbroken continuum of Greek literacy beginning in the Mycenean era. He argues that the creators of the Greek alphabet, who adapted the Phoenician consonantal script, were scribes accustomed to writing Greek with the syllabic script of Cyprus. Certain characteristic features of the Cypriot script--for example, its strategy for representing consonant sequences and elements of Cypriot Greek phonology--were transferred to the new alphabetic script. Proposing a Cypriot origin of the alphabet at the hands of previously literate adapters brings clarity to various problems of the alphabet, such as the Greek use of the Phoenician sibilant letters. The alphabet, rejected by the post- Bronze Age "Mycenaean" culture of Cyprus, was exported west to the Aegean, where it gained a foothold among a then illiterate Greek people emerging from the Dark Age.
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affricate allophonic alphabet-type alphabetic script Arcadian aspirated stops attested Attic Beekes bilabial century B.C. cluster-type consonant clusters consonantal Cretan Cypriot Greek Cypriot spelling Cypriot Syllabary Cyprus dental stop dialects discussion emphatic consonants example fricative front vowels geminate geminate clusters glide grammarians graphemes graphic Greek adapters Greek alphabet hierarchy of orthographic Ibid inscriptions instances interpretation Jeffery Karageorghis labiovelar language Lejeune Linear B spelling liquid Masson Morpurgo Davies Mycenaean nasal obstruent occur word-initially orthographic strength Palaima palatalization partial spelling Phoenician script phonetic phonological plenary spelling Powell preceding progressive spelling Proto-Greek Proto-Indo-European qoppa red alphabets reflex regressive represent representation sade samek scribes Semitic sibilant sigma ſks sonority hierarchy sound spelling of consonant spelling strategy stop clusters supplemental characters syllabic Cypriot script syllabic scripts syllable structure syllable-boundary tion utilized variation velar stop Viredaz voiced word word-division word-final consonants word-internal cluster writing system written zayin zeta
Page vii - Marburger served as the Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California from 1976 to 1980.
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