• TA-NU-MU-TI • YA-SA-SA-RA-MA-NA • DA-WA-SI • DU-WA-TO • I-YA •
Bayndor's Minoan translation turns "bloody"
In his latest entry Those "bloody" Minoans..., Bayndor commits a number of false deductions towards his favoured value of YA-SA-SA-RA-MA-NA and I'm left disappointed by how he rationalizes this. The status quo maintains that Asasarama refers to a goddess figure (or figures) and despite any perceived difficulties in the comparison with Anatolian epithets, it still fits the context best. It's comparison with Isḫassaras-mis (see The Song of Ullikummi), with Mycenaean Potniya, with 'My Lady' equivalents in Asia Minor (cf. Kubaba, Cybele, Asherah, Ashtarte, Ishtar, etc.), and Egyptian ones (cf. Hathor, Isis) only adds to its historical plausibility. So I expect that any credible objection to all of this must be next to flawless.
To be brief, Bayndor's alternative translation based on Luwian asḫarmis 'sacrifice' is shockingly incoherent for someone who spends much of his time studying Minoan. The Luwian sequence /-sx-/ can't possibly explain reduplicated -SA-SA- in any meaningful way. This reduplication is so consistent in Linear A that it's absurd to avoid interpreting it as anything other than underlying -sasa-, not *-ssa- or *-sa-. As such, Bayndor has no leeway here. I won't dwell further on something so easily falsifiable.
Asasarama is *not* Minoan
Given the formulation of the original hypothesis, Bayndor errs some more when he states: "Isḫassara- is a compound stem, made up from isḫa- = 'lord' and the feminizing suffix -sara-, thus meaning 'lady'. None of its parts have a particularly good Indo-European etymology." Yet the source of -sara- is already commonly known to be from Proto-Indo-European *-s(o)r-, a suffix present also in Celtic and Indo-Iranian! Therefore Asasarama *can only be* from an Anatolian Indo-European language like Hittite. Even Judith Weingarten, who we may also assume studies Minoan rather extensively, falls into the same false reasoning in her comment further below: "So, I'll stick with Isḫa-ssara as the most likely parallel, also because it seems non-Indo-European in origin." Sigh.
There's a difference between the origins of isḫa- and of isḫassara-
As I said above, isḫassara- 'lady' is a transparently Anatolian formation so any talk of its possible Minoan origins is off to left field. Nonetheless it's true that the *root* of this Hittite word, isḫa- 'lord', may very likely come from Hattic asḫaf 'lord, god' (= asḫap, asḫaw) as per Jaan Puhvel in his Hittite dictionary. This particular non-IE etymology can have little to do with the source of Minoan Asasarama though and we must endeavor to keep these irrelevant side-facts separated in intelligent discussion on the matter.
On the other hand, these facts about the Hittite root suggest a stress accent on its second syllable. Thus Hattic asḫáf /əs'xaɸ/ would be lent to Hittite nominative isḫás /ɪs'xas/, then extended by the IE feminine suffix to isḫássaras, in turn used to form an epithet which in the vocative case becomes Isḫássara-Mi /ɪs'xassara-mɪ/ 'O My Lady'. If anything, we may best trace underlying Minoan Asásarama /ə'sasaramə/ from this foreign vocative. Searching for a Luwian equivalent to explain initial a- becomes unnecessary.
From this, we have the Minoan locative case form Asásaram-e and the qualifier Asásarama-na 'pertaining to Asasarama'. To respond to Bayndor's objections regarding the nature of the distinctive Aegean suffix -na, I maintain that the semantic distinction between a true genitive form and a qualifier is rather moot. We must note that Anatolian languages too had gone so far as to systematically replace their inherited Indo-European genitive case forms with adjectival formations. Finally, the same case and derivational endings I theorize for Minoan are amply attested in Etruscan with precisely the same usage, lending further weight to my interpretation of the term.
I'll speak more later on the reasoning behind a full translation of KN Za 10 I have cooking in my wok right now.