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By Dietz Otto Edzard

It kind of feels secure to claim that this "Sumerian Grammar" by way of Professor D.O. Edzard turns into the recent vintage reference within the box. it really is an updated, trustworthy advisor to the language of the Sumerians, the inventors of cuneiform writing within the past due 4th millennium B.C., and hence crucial participants to the excessive cultural regular of the full of Mesopotamia and past. Following conventional traces, the "Grammar" describes basic features, origins, linguistic setting, phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and phrasing. Due realization is given to the symbiosis with Semitic Akkadian, with which Sumerian used to be to shape a veritable linguistic sector. With lucid causes of all technical linguistic thought. each one transliteration incorporates its English translation.

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Extra resources for Sumerian Grammar (Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch Der Orientalistik)

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Of the city where he had been governor when he was still a crown-prince”. Here, X = bàd-gal and Y = the city-name with a complicated string of apposition and genitives: A1-A2(-ak)—B-ak. The possessive particle -ani “his” should also have been in the genitive, -a-na. We may understand the scribe’s ‘mistake’ by re-translating the whole complex into Akkadian: *dùram rabiam “a Der àl “akkanakkùtim “a màrùti“u the last -“u of which was mechanically rendered by the scribe by Sumerian -a-ni. Apart from the X-Y-a(k) syntagma with a bound genitive, there is free, unbound, genitive with no regens expressed occurring much EDZARD_f6_28-45 4/28/03 2:40 PM Page 39  39 more rarely, at least in the documentation of historical times: ∞gá (-a)-kam, za(-a)-kam “it is of me, you” = “it is mine, yours”; An-nakam “it is of An (or: of heaven)”.

7. A few adjectives appear in reduplicated form when the preceding substantive is plural: di∞gir-gal-gal “the great gods”; na4-di4(TUR)-di4 “small stones”. Here, one is reminded of the Akkadian pl. form of some adjec­ tives: rabbûtu, ße¢¢erùtu, arrakùtu. 1(b). Note: Against Falkenstein 1949, 72, Thomsen 1984, 65, supposes that the redu­ plication of adjectives could express superlatives. However, in the case of na4-gal- EDZARD_f6_28-45 4/28/03 2:40 PM Page 33  33 gal na4-di4-di4 there is hardly the idea of “biggest, smallest stones”, but simply “big, small stones”.

Dative The dative case particle [ra] has the allomorphs [ra] and [r] where the original distribution was probably between [ra] after a conso­ nant (including -H and genitive -a(k)) and [r] after a vowel. 3). In NS and OB Sumerian both -V-Vr and -V-ra occur. Cf. lugal-/nin-a-ni-ir “to his/her lord/lady”, ubi­ quitous in royal inscriptions, as against lugal-∞gu10-ra “to my lord” in the opening of letters. Note: Cf. Michalowski 1993 nos. 87–92, 94 Na-ni(-r) “to Nani”, but 93 Na-nira. Rarely lugal-∞gu10-úr, dNanna-ar “to my lord”, “to the Moongod”.

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