In a few different places (1) (2), ORACC lists Ś (S with acute accent, U+015A) as a Unicode character used for Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform transcription.

However, I've never seen this letter used (in ORACC or anywhere else), and am not sure what it would mean—to my knowledge, Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform only ever distinguished four sibilants (S Z Ṣ Š), and even those had some overlap between them.

So, what is this Ś in Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform?

(P.S. I know the letter Ś is sometimes used in transcribing Ugaritic cuneiform, and in discussions of Proto-Semitic, but if ORACC wanted to cover those they'd need a whole lot more glyphs in their Unicode tables: Ḥ, Ġ, etc. It seems notable that this is the only glyph in 1 that I don't recognize from either Sumerian or Akkadian.)


ś is the conventional transliteration for Hebrew שׂ ( śīn ), and is used also for its Semitic source, now more usually transcribed as s₂. It is believed that Old Akkadian (at least) still retained the Semitic distinction of s₁, s₂ and s₃ and used different signs for syllables containing each of these. This is reflected by the transcription of those signs.

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    Very interesting! Which signs were these? For example, is there a more common name I might have seen for ŚA? – Draconis Mar 27 at 21:52
  • 1
    (Also, just to check—S₁ is Š and S₃ is S?) – Draconis Mar 27 at 21:53

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