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This work is the first comprehensive description of Sumerian constructions involving a copula. Using around fully glossed examples, it gives a thorough .
Table of contents

Sumerian verbs are marked for three persons: 1st, 2nd, 3rd; in two numbers: singular and plural. The two have different conjugations and many have different roots. Verbal roots are mostly monosyllabic, though verbal root duplication and suppletion can also occur to indicate plurality. Root duplication can also indicate iterativity or intensity of the verb. Finite verbs take prefixes and suffixes, non-finite verbs only take suffixes. Non-finite verbs include participles and relative clause verbs, both formed through nominalisation.

Finally, opinions differ on whether the verb has a passive or a middle voice and how it is expressed. Verbs also mark mood , voice , polarity , iterativity , and intensity ; and agree with subjects and objects in number , person , animacy , and case. The Sumerian finite verb distinguishes a number of moods and agrees more or less consistently with the subject and the object in person, number and gender.

The verbal root is almost always a monosyllable and, together with various affixes , forms a so-called verbal chain which is described as a sequence of about 15 slots, though the precise models differ. Broadly, the prefixes have been divided in three groups that occur in the following order: modal prefixes , " conjugation prefixes ", and pronominal and dimensional prefixes. The prefixes appear to conflate mood, aspect, and polarity; and their meanings are also affected by the tense-aspect complex.

Sumerian language

Sumerian voices are: active , and middle or passive. Modal prefixes confer the above moods on the verb. The meaning, structure, identity and even the number of " conjugation prefixes " have always been a subject of disagreements. This broad treatment will also make the volume of interest to students looking for comparative data in allied subjects such as ancient literature and early religions. Providing an authoritative, comprehensive and up to date overview of the Sumerian period written by some of the best qualified scholars in the field, The Sumerian World will satisfy students, researchers, academics, and the knowledgeable layperson wishing to understand the world of southern Mesopotamia in the third millennium.

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Bram Jagersma A descriptive grammar of Sumerian Sumerian is an ancient Near Eastern language which was spoken in what is now southern Iraq. It is known to us from numerous inscriptions and clay tablets written in cuneiform, a script invented by the Sumerians in the late fourth millennium BC. Although Sumerian became obsolete as a living language about four thousand years ago, it continued to be used as a language of scholarship and cult until the end of the first millennium BC. Sumerian is a language isolate. Its position in a remote corner of the Near East shows it to be a last remnant of the languages that preceded the arrival of Semitic languages in the area.

Earlier theories, especially concerning the verbal system, the most difficult chapter of Sumerian grammar, are discussed. Authors : Raatma, Lucia. Prudence Character Education.

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