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Sumerian - Page 3 - UniLang

Sumerian

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Патрислав Андреевич
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Re: Sumerian

Postby Патрислав Андреевич » 2013-05-24, 16:46

I love Sumerian, I’m reading A Descriptive Grammar of Sumerian now, although at first I’ve been learning from A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts by Hayes.. I like the way he introduces the grammar with real-life (kind of) examples and exercises. These are only royal inscriptions (so not very ‘real-life,’ but still..) from the Ur III period, though really good for beginning to learn the basics. HOWEVER, it’s from 1990, very outdated... which bounds me to Jagersma’s one (which is awesome as a comprehensive grammar reference, but the beginning can be difficult using only this book.)

Has the 2012 grammar introduced many changes (besides ‘Inana,’ etc.) or I can stick with the 2010 one without noticing too much difference?

Oh, and it’d be great to have the language revived, at least in a small circle of Sumerian enthusiasts. :D Of course, as it’s been said already, it would need a lot of loans and even some changes to the grammar.. buuut.. it’s normal. It has been long since dead and has a very small vocabulary, and the only corpus we have comes from inscriptions and poetry. :wink:

Anyway, I wish I will have a possibility of talking in Sumerian one day. :whistle:
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Re: Sumerian

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-12, 21:07

Lowena wrote:
Karavinka wrote:I actually have read Hayes to the last lesson... and I can't say I know much Sumerian. Hayes presents Sumerian with very simple texts, while explaining different interpretations on the grammar of the language. And while I don't mean to discourage you, but I wouldn't ever want to dare composing anything in the language after reading Hayes since most of the texts are rather repetitive and formulaic. What Hayes teaches is how to read the most commonly found royal inscriptions, not the language (as it is known) in a comprehensive manner. In other words, it's simply not a complete course in itself. (To be fair, Hayes himself admits this and says he's going to publish the second volume with a focus on literary Sumerian, but so far it hasn't come out yet)

So far I am not being discouraged. I have other grammars, including A Descriptive Grammar of Sumerian, and plan on reading Sumerian literature when I get to the desired level.

I am well aware that so many things are not understood about Sumerian, but I believe a revival is possible. It may be a standardized language, with borrowed words and neologisms, but like Hebrew, Cornish, and Prussian, it wouldn't be a conlang.


Ehm, modern Hebrew and modern Prussian are actually conlangs, as both languages have borrowed a lot of words from other languages instead of only using words of their own language. Hebrew is actually a very interesting case as it has a Slavic substrata, according to the linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann the Bible should also be translated to modern Hebrew as it's different from ancient Hebrew. I think Hebrew shows how every revived language simply is forced to have influence from modern language, so you can't revive an old language without it becoming a conlang. Although the borrowed words are from languages in the same language-group they aren't a natural development but modern human intervention. I want to revive Gothic too and people who spoke Latin told me that it would become a conlang, but that's true for every old language which you revive. If you really want to revive it without being a conlang, you simply shouldn't borrow any words and only build words on existing roots in the language, but that again makes it a conlang. You can't escape from creating a conlang. Wikipedia says:

A planned or constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language whose phonology, grammar, and vocabulary has been consciously devised for human or human-like communication, instead of having developed naturally. It is also referred to as an artificial or invented language.[2]

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Re: Sumerian

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-07-12, 22:39

GothicSp wrote:Ehm, modern Hebrew and modern Prussian are actually conlangs, as both languages have borrowed a lot of words from other languages instead of only using words of their own language.
I don't think you know what a conlang is since by that definition, nearly every language alive today is a conlang (depending on how you're defining "a lot", possibly all of them).
Hebrew is actually a very interesting case as it has a Slavic substrata, according to the linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann the Bible should also be translated to modern Hebrew as it's different from ancient Hebrew. I think Hebrew shows how every revived language simply is forced to have influence from modern language, so you can't revive an old language without it becoming a conlang. Although the borrowed words are from languages in the same language-group they aren't a natural development but modern human intervention. I want to revive Gothic too and people who spoke Latin told me that it would become a conlang, but that's true for every old language which you revive. If you really want to revive it without being a conlang, you simply shouldn't borrow any words and only build words on existing roots in the language, but that again makes it a conlang. You can't escape from creating a conlang. Wikipedia says:

A planned or constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language whose phonology, grammar, and vocabulary has been consciously devised for human or human-like communication, instead of having developed naturally. It is also referred to as an artificial or invented language.[2]
I think you're confusing language planning with conlanging. Also, you should probably not rely wholly on the opinions of Dr. Zuckermann when it comes to this sort of thing.

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Re: Sumerian

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-12, 23:50

mōdgethanc wrote:
GothicSp wrote:Ehm, modern Hebrew and modern Prussian are actually conlangs, as both languages have borrowed a lot of words from other languages instead of only using words of their own language.
I don't think you know what a conlang is since by that definition, nearly every language alive today is a conlang (depending on how you're defining "a lot", possibly all of them).
Hebrew is actually a very interesting case as it has a Slavic substrata, according to the linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann the Bible should also be translated to modern Hebrew as it's different from ancient Hebrew. I think Hebrew shows how every revived language simply is forced to have influence from modern language, so you can't revive an old language without it becoming a conlang. Although the borrowed words are from languages in the same language-group they aren't a natural development but modern human intervention. I want to revive Gothic too and people who spoke Latin told me that it would become a conlang, but that's true for every old language which you revive. If you really want to revive it without being a conlang, you simply shouldn't borrow any words and only build words on existing roots in the language, but that again makes it a conlang. You can't escape from creating a conlang. Wikipedia says:

A planned or constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language whose phonology, grammar, and vocabulary has been consciously devised for human or human-like communication, instead of having developed naturally. It is also referred to as an artificial or invented language.[2]
I think you're confusing language planning with conlanging. Also, you should probably not rely wholly on the opinions of Dr. Zuckermann when it comes to this sort of thing.


Actually the gap between a natural language and a conlang is vague, as modern languages are all influenced in some way. Though, it is hard to distinguish between a natural language and a conlang, especially if you speak about revived languages, as they are in some way invented and artificial. You can say that Cornish and Hebrew are natural languages, and they became this after being used in Cornish schools in the case of Cornish and in Israeli society in the case of Hebrew, but they were in the first place constructed by people based on the existing material of the languages. Both Cornish and Hebrew are based on written accounts, not on a spoken language, so we can't even learn anymore what Ancient Hebrew and Cornish were like when they were spoken. For Hebrew we can really on the liturgical language so we still know somehow how it was most likely pronounced back then, but with Cornish speakers you just often hear a big English accent when they speak and although I would like to maybe learn Cornish, I first want to know how much old literature there is as I don't think there isn't enough written in modern literature in it to make it worth learning.

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Re: Sumerian

Postby Meera » 2014-10-22, 3:58

I'm studying Mesopotamia a lot right now (had to write a very lengthy paper in it in school) and I'm getting super interested in both Sumerian and Akkadian.
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Re: Sumerian

Postby KingHarvest » 2014-12-18, 21:16

There's a reason Jacobsen quipped that there are as many Sumerian languages as there are Sumerologists.
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
-A.E. Housman


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