Christina Skelton Laurel Selvig Danlu Chen Nikita Srivatsan Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick

Cypro-Minoan: one language or three? An exercise in phonology-based statistical analysis

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Cypro-Minoan, an undeciphered writing system from Bronze Age Cyprus, is divided into three subsets based on graphical differences. A question fundamental to the field is whether these divisions represent different languages. To contribute evidence to this discussion, we present a anchored frequency analysis of CM1, CM2, and CM3, analyzing the occurrence of characters in initial, medial, and final position. These three divisions have entirely different sign frequencies, which may support the hypothesis of three different languages, but might equally well represent the effects of sampling, document differences or language contact.


  • Cypro-Minoan
  • Aegean Bronze Age
  • decipherment
  • language contact


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