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Sumerian Grammar (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section One, the Near [And] Mi) Bilingual Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Instead, Dr. Edzard has written a book that is aimed at more advanced students and specialists in the field, and he has done a great job of it. The author discusses differences of opinion between scholars regarding the finer points of Sumerian grammar and does a good job of illustrating how our knowledge of Sumerian is tied to ancient Akkadian texts which translate Sumerian into Akkadian. The long chapter on the Sumerian verb is daunting, but that is strictly due to the complexity of the material.
This book is also wonderfully concise. The material is properly covered, yet the book is only 190 pages long.
A student wishing to learn Sumerian from scratch should probably start with "A Manual of Sumerian Grammar" by John Hayes. Once they have mastered the material in Hayes' excellent book, they should then turn to Dr. Edzard's book for further study.
The second remark we have to do is that Sumerian is mostly agglutinative and this here grammar lists the agglutinative elements both on the side of the nouns and on the side of the verbs. Agglutinative it is and yet that is not enough to say so. Edzard has the tendency to freeze some presentations in traditional ways and thus to lists the marks that are not really present in the chain but are "mentally" present, that should be present. I mean Sumerian is in the process of restructuring its agglutinative marks in many ways: it discards the use of some when it is not necessary due to the redundant discursive context. For example a locative-terminative implying an ergative, the ergative may not be marked in the verb chain.
Then Sumerian is making its marks more and more abstract, which means they lose all semantic value to only keep their syntactic formal value. The various marks are restructured so that some cases use the same vocalic marks and others only use a particular consonant or vary the consonant on the basis of these vocalic marks. Sumerian is in the process, under our eyes, of reducing the number of marks and making them more and more abstract.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointing. No one seems to have a book that actually helps one to learn and read Sumerian.Published 12 months ago by Syracuse
the horror of this book is the latin alphabet in constant use, not a graph, image in cuneiforme or sumerian, it blabbers about a lot of charming expressions, but misses the idea of... Read morePublished on July 22, 2012 by barhayim