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Re: [ANE-2] determinatives - sumerian

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  • Robert M Whiting
    ... The evidence is on several levels: a) general grammatological theory on the nature of determinatives, b) direct evidence from Sumerian, c) indirect
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 8, 2010
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      On Mon, 8 Mar 2010, A. Ulshoefer wrote:

      > Dear Listmembers,
      >
      > Are there any recent studies on sumerian determinatives?
      > Falling upon the sumerian word for "bed" (gisz.nu2 (or na2), which years
      > ago I learned as "Det. gisz" + na/u2", I found it now in e-PSD listed as
      > normalized gesznud.
      > Re-thinking determinatives, I came across Edzard´s Statement (Sumerian
      > -Grammar, P. 9): "Determinatives can be proven not to have been
      > pronounced (although doubt may exist in specific instances)".
      > Does anyone know the evidence for non-pronounciation of determinatives?

      The evidence is on several levels: a) general grammatological theory on
      the nature of determinatives, b) direct evidence from Sumerian, c)
      indirect evidence from Akkadian.

      a) General theoretical evidence

      Determinative are a specialized use of logograms. Logograms are writing
      on a morpho-lexical level rather than a phonetic level. Basically, this
      means that logograms represent words rather than sounds directly. When
      the writing system is logo-syllabic, as in the case of Sumerian, the
      logogram sometimes corresponds to the phonetic realization of the word
      (e.g., <APIN> = /apin/ = "plow", <AN@E> = /an@e/ = "donkey", etc), but
      sometimes not (e.g. <AN@...> = /zizi/ [or /sisi/] = "horse"). One
      characteristic of logographic writing is that the same logogram often
      represents more than one word in the language. The correct interpretation
      (i.e., phonetic realization) of the logogram has to be provided by the
      reader based on his or her knowledge of the language. Determinatives,
      also known as semantic indicators, are used to reduce the ambiguity and
      help the reader interpret the logogram by indicating the semantic domain
      to which the correct word belongs (e.g., objects made of wood, objects
      made of stone, objects made of reed, human beings, divinities,
      geographical locations, etc). Thus in Akkadian context, <GI@.APIN> =
      /epinnu/ = "plow", but <LU2.APIN> = /ikkaru/ = "farmer" or <AN.EN.LIL2> =
      /Enlil/ = the god Enlil, but <EN.LIL2.KI> = /Nibru/ = the city Nippur.
      In these cases, GI@, LU2, AN (d), and KI are all determinatives.

      The sole purpose of the determinatives is to indicate the semantic domain
      of the word underlying the logogram and as such are not part of the word
      but only a pointer to it and, although expressed in the writing, would not
      be read. A similar example can be posited in modern German where the
      grapheme <.> is used after numbers written logographically to indicate the
      ordinal number as opposed to the cardinal number. The period/punkt <.> is
      not read, but merely indicates the semantic difference between <2> =
      "zwei" and <2.> "zweite" (and the correct reading, "zweite", "zweiter",
      "zweiten" "zweites", etc, has to be supplied by the reader based on his or
      her knowledge of the language. In English, this function is accomplished
      with a phonetic indicator (<nd>): <2> = "two" but <2nd> "second". Unlike
      determinatives (semantic indicators), phonetic indicators can actually be
      considered to be read as part of the word.

      b) Direct evidence from Sumerian

      While it is difficult to prove a negative, especially that something that
      was written was not pronounced when no one speaks the language that it was
      written in anymore, there are still strong indications that determinatives
      were not pronounced. This comes primarily from postpositional
      determinitives such as KI (geographical indicator), KU6 (names of fishes),
      MU@EN (names of birds), etc. Sumerian orthography developed so that when
      a vocalic suffix (or a suffix beginning with a vowel) was added to a word,
      the sign used to write the the suffix was chosen from CV(C) signs so that
      the first consonant indicated the final consonant of the word and the
      vowel indicated the suffix. Thus the syllabic portion of the
      logo-syllabic writing functions both as a phonetic indicator pointing to
      the root word and as the bearer of the suffix. Thus the logogram DU
      (orignally a pictograph of a foot) had various readings in Sumerian such
      as /gub/ "to stand", /tum/ "to bring", and /gin/ "to go". It fairly early
      became a convention, when adding, say the nominalizing particle /a/ to
      these words, to write them as <DU-ba> = /guba/ "standing", <DU-ma> =
      /tuma/ "bringing", and <DU-na> = /gina/ "going".

      Now when a postpositional determinative stands at the end of a word, any
      suffixes that are added come after the determinative and the first
      consonant of the suffix sign indicates the final consonant of the word
      itself and not the final consonant of the determinative. Thus
      <@E@.AB/UNUG.KI-ma> = /Urima(k)/ "of the city Urim [= Ur]" or
      <dar.MU@EN-re> = /dar-e/ "the dar-bird [+ ergative marker]" Phonetically,
      the determinative is simply treated as if it were not there. This is a
      strong indication that the determinatives were not read/pronounced.

      c) Indirect evidence from Akkadian

      The evidence from Akkadian comes mostly in the form of Sumerian loanwords
      in Akkadian. In the vast majority of cases, determinatives associated
      with the Sumerian logograms simply do not appear as part of the borrowed
      word, indicating that the determinatives were not pronounced as part of
      the word in question. Now when Edzard says "doubt may exist in specific
      instances" he is referring to the fact that there are instances where what
      we would expect to be a determinative in Sumerian shows up as part of the
      loanword in Akkadian. An example is gu@u:ru "log, beam; roof beam", which
      is presumably from Sumerian GI@.UR3. However, it is also possible that
      the Sumerian is gi@ ur3(-ra) "wood of (for) a roof" since ur3 means "roof"
      in Sumerian and the transference from the specific "roof beam" to the
      general "log, beam" is an internal Akkadian development. The CAD is not
      willing to commit itself fully, saying only "probably Sum[erian].
      l[oan]w[ord]." The word is suspicious as a Sumerian loan because it
      should be gu@urru (or if it is actually a genitival construction
      gu@urakku), but it is possible that gu@u:ru represents a compensatory
      lengthening for the loss of the double consonant, another internal
      Akkadian development.

      In any case, words like gu@u:ru are exceptions rather than the rule and it
      is clear that in almost all cases Sumerian determinative are not carried
      into loanwords in Akkadian, indicating that they were not pronounced in
      the Sumerian.

      So all the evidence converges on the likelihood that determinatives in
      Sumerian (and in logo-syllabic systems in general) were not pronounced,
      although Edzard's caveat that there may be exceptions is still valid.

      Bob Whiting
      whiting@...
    • dafoxvog
      One kind of practical evidence for non-pronunciation of determinatives can be found in early texts in which determinatives are to some extent optional or at
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 10, 2010
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        One kind of practical evidence for non-pronunciation of determinatives can be found in early texts in which determinatives are to some extent optional or at least not consistently used. The ED IIIb Girsu (Lagash I) administrative corpus provides many instances. For example, the names of many individuals which begin with the name of a deity were written both with and without an initial divine determinative.

        For {gesz}nu2 rather than gesz-nu2, at least in these early texts, compare three lines from DP 490: 1 nu2 {gesz}taskarin esz2 ak (i 1), 1 {gesz}nu2 {gesz}taskarin esz2 nu-ak (ii 1), 1 {gesz}sag-erim2 nu2 (iv 5).

        DP 427 i 1-3 itemizes parts of beds: 4 {gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 {gesz}zi nu2, 2 gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 sag-erim2 nu2, 2 {gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 umbin nu2.

        See further D. Frayne, BiOr 42 (1985) 20 (citing P. Michalowski, Diss. Yale [1976] 47), for an Ur III example: siskur {gesz}nu2 gub-ba for which a parallel text (BIN 3, 382:4) writes siskur nu2 gub-ba '(x animals), offerings for the setting up of the bed'.

        Daniel A Foxvog
        Lecturer in Assyriology (ret.)
        Univ. of California at Berkeley


        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "A. Ulshoefer" <aulshoef@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Listmembers,
        >
        > Are there any recent studies on sumerian determinatives?
        > Falling upon the sumerian word for "bed" (gisz.nu2 (or na2), which years
        > ago I learned as "Det. gisz" + na/u2", I found it now in e-PSD listed as
        > normalized gesznud.
        > Re-thinking determinatives, I came across Edzard´s Statement (Sumerian
        > -Grammar, P. 9): "Determinatives can be proven not to have been
        > pronounced (although doubt may exist in specific instances)".
        > Does anyone know the evidence for non-pronounciation of determinatives?
        >
        > Thanks for any help,
        >
        > Andrea Ulshoefer
        > Ev.-Theol. Seminar
        > Univ. Bonn, Germany
      • manuel ceccarelli
        hallo, I think the variants {gesz}nu2 and nu2 point to a reading /gesznu/ for NU2, which is also listed in ProtoEa, 843. So I think Attinger is right in
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 12, 2010
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          hallo,
          I think the variants {gesz}nu2 and nu2 point to a reading /gesznu/ for NU2, which is also listed in ProtoEa, 843. So I think Attinger is right in reading NU2 as gesznu3 and interpreting gesz as a phonetic complement.
           
          bye
           
          Manuel Cecarelli
           


          --- Mer 10/3/10, dafoxvog <foxvog@...> ha scritto:


          Da: dafoxvog <foxvog@...>
          Oggetto: [ANE-2] Re: determinatives - sumerian
          A: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Data: Mercoledì 10 marzo 2010, 22:08


           





          One kind of practical evidence for non-pronunciation of determinatives can be found in early texts in which determinatives are to some extent optional or at least not consistently used. The ED IIIb Girsu (Lagash I) administrative corpus provides many instances. For example, the names of many individuals which begin with the name of a deity were written both with and without an initial divine determinative.

          For {gesz}nu2 rather than gesz-nu2, at least in these early texts, compare three lines from DP 490: 1 nu2 {gesz}taskarin esz2 ak (i 1), 1 {gesz}nu2 {gesz}taskarin esz2 nu-ak (ii 1), 1 {gesz}sag-erim2 nu2 (iv 5).

          DP 427 i 1-3 itemizes parts of beds: 4 {gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 {gesz}zi nu2, 2 gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 sag-erim2 nu2, 2 {gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 umbin nu2.

          See further D. Frayne, BiOr 42 (1985) 20 (citing P. Michalowski, Diss. Yale [1976] 47), for an Ur III example: siskur {gesz}nu2 gub-ba for which a parallel text (BIN 3, 382:4) writes siskur nu2 gub-ba '(x animals), offerings for the setting up of the bed'.

          Daniel A Foxvog
          Lecturer in Assyriology (ret.)
          Univ. of California at Berkeley

          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, "A. Ulshoefer" <aulshoef@.. .> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Listmembers,
          >
          > Are there any recent studies on sumerian determinatives?
          > Falling upon the sumerian word for "bed" (gisz.nu2 (or na2), which years
          > ago I learned as "Det. gisz" + na/u2", I found it now in e-PSD listed as
          > normalized gesznud.
          > Re-thinking determinatives, I came across Edzard´s Statement (Sumerian
          > -Grammar, P. 9): "Determinatives can be proven not to have been
          > pronounced (although doubt may exist in specific instances)".
          > Does anyone know the evidence for non-pronounciation of determinatives?
          >
          > Thanks for any help,
          >
          > Andrea Ulshoefer
          > Ev.-Theol. Seminar
          > Univ. Bonn, Germany











          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • manuel ceccarelli
          hello, I think the variants {gesz}nu2 and nu2 point to a reading /gesznu/ for NU2, which is also listed in ProtoEa, 843. So I think Attinger is right in
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 12, 2010
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            hello,
            I think the variants {gesz}nu2 and nu2 point to a reading
            /gesznu/ for NU2, which is also listed in ProtoEa, 843. So I think
            Attinger is right in reading NU2 as gesznu3 and interpreting gesz as a
            phonetic complement.
             
            bye
             
            Manuel Cecarelli
            PhD Student
            University of Tübingen
            Germany

            --- Mer 10/3/10, dafoxvog <foxvog@...> ha scritto:

            Da: dafoxvog <foxvog@...>
            Oggetto: [ANE-2] Re: determinatives - sumerian
            A: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Data: Mercoledì 10 marzo 2010, 22:08







             













            One kind of practical evidence for non-pronunciation of determinatives can be found in early texts in which determinatives are to some extent optional or at least not consistently used. The ED IIIb Girsu (Lagash I) administrative corpus provides many instances. For example, the names of many individuals which begin with the name of a deity were written both with and without an initial divine determinative.



            For {gesz}nu2 rather than gesz-nu2, at least in these early texts, compare three lines from DP 490: 1 nu2 {gesz}taskarin esz2 ak (i 1), 1 {gesz}nu2 {gesz}taskarin esz2 nu-ak (ii 1), 1 {gesz}sag-erim2 nu2 (iv 5).



            DP 427 i 1-3 itemizes parts of beds: 4 {gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 {gesz}zi nu2, 2 gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 sag-erim2 nu2, 2 {gesz}gi-gid2 {gesz}ur2 umbin nu2.



            See further D. Frayne, BiOr 42 (1985) 20 (citing P. Michalowski, Diss. Yale [1976] 47), for an Ur III example: siskur {gesz}nu2 gub-ba for which a parallel text (BIN 3, 382:4) writes siskur nu2 gub-ba '(x animals), offerings for the setting up of the bed'.



            Daniel A Foxvog

            Lecturer in Assyriology (ret.)

            Univ. of California at Berkeley



            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, "A. Ulshoefer" <aulshoef@.. .> wrote:

            >

            > Dear Listmembers,

            >

            > Are there any recent studies on sumerian determinatives?

            > Falling upon the sumerian word for "bed" (gisz.nu2 (or na2), which years

            > ago I learned as "Det. gisz" + na/u2", I found it now in e-PSD listed as

            > normalized gesznud.

            > Re-thinking determinatives, I came across Edzard´s Statement (Sumerian

            > -Grammar, P. 9): "Determinatives can be proven not to have been

            > pronounced (although doubt may exist in specific instances)".

            > Does anyone know the evidence for non-pronounciation of determinatives?

            >

            > Thanks for any help,

            >

            > Andrea Ulshoefer

            > Ev.-Theol. Seminar

            > Univ. Bonn, Germany

























            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • alf-redu-nirari
            Dear Members, I was wondering about the existence of some archaeological evidence that might show external non sumerian influence onto Early Sumerian arch.
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 17, 2010
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              Dear Members,
              I was wondering about the existence of some archaeological evidence that
              might show external non sumerian influence onto Early Sumerian arch. facies

              Is there any discussion published on this regard, to your knowledge?
              Thank you

              Dr. Alfredo Rizza
              VS - UCB, Dep. of Linguistics;
              Dip.to di Scienze dell'Antichità - Orientalistica, Università di Pavia
            • Trudy Kawami
              Alfredo, I am puzzled. Does arch. mean architectural or archaeological? There were people speaking a number of languages in Mesopotamia in the third mill
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 17, 2010
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                Alfredo,

                I am puzzled. Does "arch." mean architectural or archaeological? There were people speaking a number of languages in Mesopotamia in the third mill BCE; do you mean non-Sumerian speakers?

                Trudy Kawami



                ________________________________

                From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of alf-redu-nirari
                Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1:37 PM
                To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [ANE-2] Sumerian material culture





                Dear Members,
                I was wondering about the existence of some archaeological evidence that
                might show external non sumerian influence onto Early Sumerian arch. facies

                Is there any discussion published on this regard, to your knowledge?
                Thank you

                Dr. Alfredo Rizza
                VS - UCB, Dep. of Linguistics;
                Dip.to di Scienze dell'Antichità - Orientalistica, Università di Pavia





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Antonio Lombatti
                ... wore (might have worn) orthopedic sandals: http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/king-tut-sandals-orthopedic.html Antonio Lombatti ...
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 7, 2010
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                  ... wore (might have worn) orthopedic sandals:

                  http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/king-tut-sandals-orthopedic.html

                  Antonio Lombatti

                  ----------------------------------
                  http://www.antoniolombatti.it








                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Peter van der Veen
                  International Conference for Biblical Archaeology in Germany Israel in Egypt and in Canaan In Search of the Historical Evironment of Exodus and Conquest At the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 8, 2010
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                    International Conference for Biblical Archaeology in Germany

                    Israel in Egypt and in Canaan
                    In Search of the Historical Evironment of Exodus and Conquest

                    At the Christian Gästezentrum Württemberg, Schwäbisch Gmünd (near Stuttgart – Southern Germany) from October 1-3 (2010)

                    - Early or Late? Did the Biblical Exodus Really Occur and When did it Happen?
                    - Who was the Pharaoh of the 10 Plagues and the Exodus?
                    - How can Excavations on the Eastern Border of Egypt Help Determine the Exodus Itinerary?
                    - Israel’s Ethnogenesis
                    - Do we find evidence of the Israelite Tribes in Egypt?
                    - The Earliest Inscription Referencing Israel in Canaan?
                    - Do the Destructions at the End of the Late Bronze or Middle Bronze Ages Yield Evidence of the Israelite Conquest?
                    - Archaeological Exhibition on Jericho
                    - Plenum Discussions

                    Lecturers:*
                    Dr John J. Bimson
                    Prof. Dr James K. Hoffmeier
                    Prof. Dr Manfred Görg
                    Dr Thomas Tribelhorn
                    Dr Peter van der Veen
                    Richard Wiskin
                    Prof. Dr Uwe Zerbst
                    Prof. Dr Wolfgang Zwickel

                    * Translation in English and German will be provided for German and English lectures

                    For more information and for registration please click on the following link for the English language flyer:


                    http://www.wort-und-wissen.de/veranstaltungen/uploads/Fachtagungen/ft-arch-2010-en.pdf

                    A German flyer can be found under:

                    http://www.wort-und-wissen.de/veranstaltungen/uploads/Fachtagungen/ft-arch-2010.pdf

                    --
                    Dr. Pieter Gert van der Veen
                    Arbeitsgruppe für Biblische Archäologie/ABA
                    Postdoctoral studies at
                    Trinity College Bristol
                    Joh. Gutenberg University of Mainz

                    Reinhardstrasse 31
                    D-73614 Schorndorf
                    Germany
                    Tel. (+49) (0) 7181-989118 (office)
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