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By John L. Hayes

ISBN-10: 0890035083

ISBN-13: 9780890035085

Publication via Hayes, John L.

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Additional info for A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts

Example text

Nanna He was the city-god of Ur. The large temple complex at Ur discussed below was sacred to him in particular. He was associated with the moon; nanna in fact seems to mean "moon". The moon-god was also called Zuen; this is discussed in Lesson Twelve. In Akkadian the word nannaru occurs, glossed by the CAD as "luminary, light (as poetic term, an epithet of the moon god and IEtar)". The Akkadian god Sin is often called nannar Earn&,"the light of the heavens". This Akkadian word may be some kind of blend or contamination between the Sumerian word nanna and the Akkadian verb nawiiru, "to shine".

However, the nature of the opposition is not clear. In Akkadian, to judge from comparative evidence, a similar difference was one of voice. In Sumerian, however, it is probable that the difference was one of aspiration. The series traditionally transliterated as the voiceless stops p 1k are to be understood as voiceless aspirates /ph th kh/. This produces a system with two sets of stops: voiceless aspirates and voiceless nonaspirates. Such systems are not uncommon in the languages of the world; it occurs, for example, in Chinese.

System As discussed above, the traditional inventories of vowels and consonants for Sumerian largely contain only phonemes which are known to exist for Akkadian (except for /g/ and Idr/). It is probable that the Sumerian phonological system had phonemes which did not exist in Akkadian, but there is no unanimity about the inventory of these phonemes nor about their phonetic nature. Moreover, there has been little investigation of the Sumerian phonological system as a whole. Any resolution of such questions about Sumerian phonology can only take place after a thorough analysis of all the details of the Sumerian writing system, with all its intricacies and vagaries.

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A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts by John L. Hayes

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