By John L. Hayes
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Extra resources for A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts (Aids and Research Tools in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, No 5)
Haayer ( 1986) discusses some of the characteristics of S umerian in light of the universal tendencies of language. He points out, for example, that "Most ergative languages have SOY basic word order", and "The combination of ergativity and postpositions in a single language points almost invariably to S OY basic word order" (1986:80). - Function of text Let us now look at the function and Sitz im Leben of this particular text. Hallo has divided the Ur III royal inscriptions into five categories, based on typological criteria: standard, building, votive, weight, and seal inscriptions.
Ma ke4 mu Especially for those who are primarily interested in West-Semitic, it is not always easy to master cuneiform signs. In certain ways, however, it is easier to learn the signs of this period than the signs of later periods. In later periods, the repertoire of possible sign shapes becomes quite reduced, so that (superficially) the signs of the Neo-Assyrian period, for example, all look very similar. In the earlier periods, however, the signs are much more distinctive, making them easier to learn.
S-O- V languages pattern alike in several ways, not just in word order. For example, very few S-O- V languages have prepositions. Instead, they use case-endings at the end of nominal phrases, that is, "postpositions". Also, in most S-O-V languages, adjectives follow their head noun, not precede. As will be seen in Lesson 2, this is also how Sumerian works. Thus, in many ways (not in all), S umerian is a typical S-O-V language. G. Haayer ( 1986) discusses some of the characteristics of S umerian in light of the universal tendencies of language.
A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts (Aids and Research Tools in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, No 5) by John L. Hayes