za … or ka2?
I was surprised to recently discover a new phonetic value proposed for the above symbol by Palmer (1980) and del Barrio Vega (1996 publication from 1991 conference proceedings), traditionally transliterated as “za”.
The original value “za” derives largely from the interpretation of a3-za as /aidza/ < αἴγειος of a goat from αἴξ goat, and some of its Indo-European cognates like /aja/ goat (Sanskrit). As can be seen here, the Greek word is of the form /gjo/ rather than /dza/.
del Barrio Vega proposes that ka2 evolved from rapid double-consonant pronunciations g’g’ and k’k’ into /gja/ and /kya/ pronunciations (del Barrio Vega 1996). In addition to the /gja/ of αἴγειος shown above, /kya/ of su-za as συχγα and the alternation of ka-za (KN Sp 4452 in the context of ideogram *253) and ka-ki-jo (KN So 894 in the context of ROTA ZE) are also cited to provide further evidence.
I can definitely see the points made with a3-za and su-za, but I’m withholding agreement on ka-za and ka-ki-jo as variant forms until I read more convincing evidence. The ideograms differ, the context differs, and Chadwick and Ventris 1973 express doubt that ka-za is of bronze, though they express confidence that ka-ki-jo aligns with ka-ke-ja-pi of bronze cf. χάλκειος. The KN Sp tablets are too broken and too few to provide evidence, and ka-za is hapax to KN Sp 4452.
Palmer 2008 (Fig. 2.2a) ignores this phonetic value in her Linear B chart, which may mean that the proposal has not been accepted by the wider academic community. However, I think it has enough merit to certainly warrant a footnote when “za” is used to transliterate this symbol.
I’m interested in other ideas supporting or rejecting the phonetic value of ka2 (/gja/, /kya/) to replace za. Please comment if you’ve read any additional work on this topic, or have some ideas of your own.
Chadwick, John and Michael Ventris, 1973 Documents in Mycenaean Greek
del Barrio Vega, María Luisa, 1996 Attí e memorie del secondo congresso internazionale di micenologia Vol. I Filologia “Algunas consideraciones sobre los silabogramas complejos”, p. 189-93
Palmer, Leonard Robert, 1980 The Greek Language, p. 31-2
Palmer, Ruth, 2008 A Companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World (ed. Yves Duhoux and Anna Morpurgo Davies) “How to Begin?”