Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


10 January 2013

Kanashi (Japanese Linear A)

While there has been much debate about the underlying language of Linear A (LinA) (also 線文字A, Γραμμικη Α), I disagree that LinA does not resemble a known language. Despite its similarities to Japanese, historical linguists dismiss a correlation for at least two reasons: they cite both (1) the universally held belief that LinA is an Indo-European language and (2) the apparent lack of genetic evidence. Regarding the first justification, Minoan scholarship generally agrees that the Minoans migrated from the Anatolian region, which suggests an Altaic origin or influence. Likewise, Japanese scholarship suggests that Japanese belongs to the Japonic language family, which is believed to have an Altaic origin or influence. Regarding the second justification, if linguists are looking to mainland Japan for genetic evidence, they are looking too far north. By whatever means, it appears that, around 1000 BCE, the Minoans entered Japan through Yonaguni, the southernmost Ryukyuan (Okinawan) island, and moved north when Yonaguni was inundated. The Okinawan Japanese remain culturally, genetically, and linguistically distinct from the mainland (Yamato) Japanese, although the two cultures are believed to share a common proto language. This forum will provide support–through archaeology, architecture, art, culture, funerary rites, genetics, language, and religion–for my dual theories that LinA is proto Japanese and that the Minoan civilization provides a rich backdrop for Japanese history, which, for millennia, has been shrouded in mystery.


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