On Wed, 2 Sep 2015 21:12:25 +0200, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:

>Hallo conlangers!
>On 02.09.2015 17:56, Pete Bleackley wrote:
>> Linear B was a simple CV syllabary, but was used to write Mycenian
>> Greek, which had much more complex syllables, and a larger
>> consonant inventory. This led to the vowel component of the
>> syllable often being ignored, and the consonant component having
>> up to three values.
>> Had the script survived, the frequency with which the vowel
>> component was ignored may well have led to the glyphs being
>> reinterpreted as pure consonants, with all vowels being written
>> with vowel only glyphs. There would then be sets of (usually) 5
>> graphemes corresponding to sets of 1-3 phonemes. The redundancy in
>> the glyphs would probably lead to different glyphs being used to
>> represent different sounds, probably according to which common
>> words particular glyphs and sounds occurred in. However, the
>> assignments would have varied unpredictably from place to place,
>> until the cultural influence of Athens led to the spread of some
>> sort of de facto standard. Most consonants would still be writable
>> in more than one way, and the choice of which version to use in
>> which word would probably be unpredictable.
>I don't know of any instance where a syllabary developed into an
>alphabet this way, but I don't think this is impossible.

I think such a reinterpretation is quite unlikely. There seems to be
no natural way from a syllabary to an alphabet unless there are very
peculiar conditions, e.g. when the Greeks adapted the Phoenician
syllabary that did not distinguish between syllables with different
vowels (which is why it is called a consonant script).

So it might have been some barbarians who (imperfectly) adopted
Linear B.

There is the strange case of the Iberian semi-syllabaries.