New PDF release: A descriptive grammar of Sumerian

By Bram Jagersma

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These kings and their representatives were Akkadians and conducted their affairs primarily in Akkadian. As a result, Sumerian had become an only written language by the Ur III period (ca. 2112-2004 BCE) (Michalowski 2000: 102; Rubio 2006). Others see a much longer period of bilingualism, during which Sumerian and Akkadian influenced each other through intense language contact (Edzard 2000). 2). We will of course never know when the last native speaker of Sumerian died. Nor do we know anything about language usage in remote villages in the marshes of southern Mesopotamia.

3. The early development of Sumerian writing The Sumerian script evolved from a purely logographic script (ca. 3200 BCE) to one based on a mixture of logographic and phonographic writing (ca. 2500 BCE). How did this come about? 3 As we shall see presently, sound signs developed step by step from word signs. As already stated, the Sumerian script was in origin purely logographic. At first all signs were logograms and, accordingly, represented words. Many logograms were in origin pictures of those objects the words which they represented.

4 for details). Thus, from the Old Akkadian period onwards, the main difference between the two dialects lies in their use or non-use of the verbal prefix {÷a}. 2). In the earlier periods, the two dialects were also the written norm in each of the two areas where they were spoken. This reflects the political fragmentation of the times. By the end of the third millennium this changes. During the Ur III period, when all of Sumer (and much more) was part of a single empire, the written language became also much more uniform than before.

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A descriptive grammar of Sumerian by Bram Jagersma


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