RE: Phaistos in ConScript

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Tue Jul 09 2002 - 07:44:02 EDT

> OK, I have the English translation of it. But you want the character.
> You do the work. Please look and tell me by cell number and character
> (A-I-22, A-IV-1, B-VI-45) where they are actually applied. Be
> comprehensive. Thanks.

OK, here is the info I have.

As we now have an encoding (albeit private), I will use it! Everybody can
use Michael's font to read the first Phaistos e-mail in history.

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Godart describes the sign in Chapter 4 ("Il senso di lettura dei gruppi di
degni del disco"):

        "[...] Ora, poiche' sotto l'ultimo segno della faccia A (quello
della rosetta) non e` posto il trattino obliquo utilizzato manifestamente
per isolare sequenze coerenti di gruppi di segni (il paragone tra questo
trattino obliquo e i nostri segni d'interpunzione e' assai pertinente),
        ("Now, as under the last sign of side A (the one bearing a rosette)
there is not the trattino obliquo clearly used to isolate coherent sequences
of signs (comparing this trattino obliquo with our punctuation is very
appropriate), [...]")

        "Infine, in ben diciassette casi, un trattino obliquo, di cui
abbiamo gia` parlato piu` sopra, e` posto sotto l'ultimo segno a sinistra di
uno o piu` gruppi di segni del disco. Si tratta probabilmente di un segno
che equivale alle interpunzioni che utilizziamo nella nostra scrittura
alfabetica e che serve a indicare che si e` giunti alla fine di un concetto
o di una frase."
        ("Finally, in not less than seventeen cases, a trattino obliquo,
which we already mentioned before, is applied to the last left-most sign of
one or more [sic] groups of signs of the disc. It is probably a sign
comparable to the punctuation we use in our alphabetic writing, and its
function is to indicated that a concept or a sentence is ended.")

(BTW, what's the English for "trattino obliquo"!?)

Coherently with his hypotheses that this "trattino obliquo" is a sort of
full stop, he edits the text with a paragraph break after each "trattino
obliquo". In the edited text, he uses "/" for it: see Chapter 5 ("Il testo
del disco di festo" - "Edizione del testo con disposizione dei gruppi di
segni secondo trattini").

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The "trattino obliquo" occurs under the last sign of the following 13 groups
(some of which appear two or three times):

         2 times: A-XV, A-XXI
         1 time: A-I
         1 time: A-XXIII
         3 times: A-XVI, A-XIX, A-XXII
         1 time: A-XII
         1 time: B-III
         1 time: B-XXIV
         1 time: B-VI
         2 times: B-XXI, B-XXVI
         1 time: A-XXVII
         1 time: A-IV
         1 time: B-XVIII
         1 time: B-XX (also unmarked in A-III)

Therefore, the "trattino obliquo" occurs only under the following signs:

        05  1 time: B-III
        07  2 times: B-XX, B-XXIV
        08  3 times: B-XXI, B-XXVI, B-XVIII
        18  1 time: A-I
        26  3 times: A-XVI, A-XIX, A-XXII
        27  1 time: A-XXIII
        28  2 times: A-XV, A-XXI
        34  1 time: A-IV
        35  1 time: A-XXVII
        38  1 time: A-XII
        43  1 time: B-VI

One reason why I don't believe Godart's hypothesis that the "trattino
obliquo" is not punctuation is that some of the resulting sentences are too
short. E.g., in A-XX to A-XXIII, there would be a two-words sentence
followed by two one-word sentences.

Another reason is that, apart one case (: A-III, B-XX) when a word is
attested with the "trattino obliquo" it always has it. This makes me think
that it could be part of the spelling of the word, rather than a punctuation
casually applied to it.

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Here is the whole corpus with "trattini obliqui" indicated by "/" (BTW:
notice that you forgot group A-X in your online corpus):

Side A:
/ A-I
 A-II
 A-III
/ A-IV
 A-V
 A-VI
 A-VII
[.] A-VIII
 A-IX
 A-X
 A-XI
/ A-XII
 A-XIV
/ A-XV
/ A-XVI
 A-XVII
/ A-XIX
 A-XX
/ A-XXI
/ A-XXII
/ A-XXIII
 A-XXIV
 A-XXV
 A-XXVI
/ A-XXVII
 A-XXIX
 A-XXX
 A-XXXI

Side B:
 B-I
 B-II
/ B-III
 B-IV
 B-V
/ B-VI
 B-VII
 B-VIII
 B-IX
 B-X
 B-XI
 B-XII
 B-XIII
 B-XIV
 B-XV
 B-XVI
 B-XVII
/ B-XVIII
 B-XIX
/ B-XX
/ B-XXI
 B-XXII
/ B-XXIV
 B-XXV
/ B-XXVI
 B-XXVII
 B-XXVIII
 B-XXIX
 B-XXX

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_ Marco

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