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By John L. Hayes

Booklet through Hayes, John L.

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Extra resources for A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts

Sample text

Thus, the word for "god" will be transliterated as digir. This may seem like a convenient procedure to differentiate Sumerian citations from Akkadian (or other) citations, but it is prone to produce mechanical errors in printing. R e a d i n g l o n g p a s s a g e s in w i d e l y - s p a c e d t y p e is a l s o singularly hard on t h e e y e s . Transcription Transliteration is, by definition, a reflection of the written text, and so does not necessarily reproduce the spoken language well (as we think we understand it).

Dumu-nitah is specifically "son"; dumumunus is specifically "daughter". Similarly, Sumerian has no definite or indefinite article. For example, 9 can mean "a house" or "the house". Lesson One 41 2. (r), "king-his-(for)". As discussed above, lugal "king" is in oqigin a noun-adjective phrase from h2"man" and gaJ "great". Nouns in Sumerian have several different patterns, such as V, CV, VC, CVC, VCV, and so on. Sumerian has a set of suffixes to indicate pronominal possession. These are called either "possessive suffixes" or "pronominal suffixes".

This, in fact, is how the ancient Mesopotamian scholars themselves interpreted the sign. As can be seen in older attestations of the sign, however, the second element was originally the g-sign P-$$-(compare the shape of the =-sign in line 6). This =-sign functioned as a phonetic complement to the name, helping the reader to read the sign correctly. This older form might be transliterated Nannana. This means that it is the =-sign alone which was originally read Nanna. The &-sign has several readings and meanings.

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