Questions tagged [cuneiform]

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Difference between 𒄣 and 𒄤 [closed]

Can someone help me understand the difference between these 2 symbols? both mean to kill... https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%92%84%A3 https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%92%84%A4
3 votes
1 answer
165 views

What is the consensus on Sumerian auslauts?

(Or Auslaute if you want to be pretentious, I suppose.) In Sumerian, there seems to be uncertainty about the status of final consonants in CVC signs. For example, the unmarked form of "heart"...
1 vote
1 answer
97 views

How is Urkesh spelled in cuneiform?

I can only find two cuneiform inscriptions mentioning "Urkesh", here. It seems to be spelled differently in the two tablets. Is it 𒌨𒄊? Is the second grapheme of "Urkesh" in ...
4 votes
2 answers
166 views

How do Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs differ?

The Wikipedia article on the History of Writing contains the following quote: the earliest solid evidence of Egyptian writing differs in structure and style from the Mesopotamian and must therefore ...
4 votes
1 answer
195 views

How can I find the word "behind" a cuneiform logogram?

Suppose I'm looking at a clay tablet, when come across an unfamiliar sign. Looking up that second glyph in a sign list, I see that it's called GAR; putting that into the ePSD, I'm told it can be read ...
4 votes
1 answer
118 views

How should the Sumerian ergative marker be read?

In Foxvog's Sumerian grammar, he assumes that the ergative marker -e was pronounced as -e, even after the possessives -(a)ni and -bi. For example, he transcribes "her king" in the ergative as lugal-(a)...
4 votes
3 answers
436 views

How many sibilants did Old Akkadian cuneiform distinguish?

According to fdb's answer to another question: 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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
370 views

What is Ś in Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform?

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
53 views

What are good references on Eblaite cuneiform?

According to Wikipedia's article on the Eblaite language: Studying the usage context for the symbols I, I2, A, ʾA, ḪA, etc. with regard to the writing conventions of Akkadian scribes enabled the ...
3 votes
2 answers
284 views

Tabannusi in cuneiform script

I'd like to know how to correctly write a word "tabannusi" (build) in sumerian alphabet. Is there a chance then anyone can help me?
6 votes
2 answers
209 views

What's going on with ŠÁR?

While most cuneiform signs are made up of wedges, hence the name, there seems to be one striking exception: the sign ŠÁR (aka ŠAR₂ aka 𒊹). Some sources (like the Hethitisches Zeichenlexikon) list it ...
6 votes
2 answers
132 views

What is Ugaritic "Ž"?

In New Evidence on the Last Days of Ugarit (1965), Astour quotes a Ugaritic letter (RS 19.11) which seems to include a glyph "Ž": However, I haven't been able to find any source talking ...
7 votes
2 answers
221 views

How do we know that Sumerian determinatives were not pronounced?

I've read the following in Edzard's "Sumerian Grammar" from 2003: Determinatives: these are signs which precede or follow words or names in order to specify them as belonging to semantic groups. ...
1 vote
1 answer
68 views

When does cuneiform numbering "carry over"?

In theory, cuneiform glyphs are numbered to distinguish homophones: if there are two common glyphs pronounced /u/, one will be named U₁ and the other will be named U₂. If a glyph has multiple readings,...
2 votes
2 answers
90 views

What is known about the Hurrian "wa" compound signs?

According to the classic Hethitisches Zeichenlexikon, Hurrian used a handful of special signs made by combining the WA (aka PI) sign with others: wa+ap, wa+i, wa+pí, wa+ú, wa+e, wa+u, wa+pu, wa+ip, wa+...
4 votes
1 answer
68 views

Is there a consensus on plene spellings in Anatolian?

"Plene" spellings (with extra vowel glyphs, like ma-a-an instead of ma-an or e-es-zi instead of es-zi) are common in Anatolian cuneiform. Sometimes they disambiguate between signs with ...
11 votes
1 answer
154 views

Is there a standardized graphical encoding for cuneiform?

If I want to describe the Hittite version of the DIŊIR cuneiform glyph, I could say "a double-headed horizontal, crossing a vertical". In other words: This one's fairly straightforward, and ...
4 votes
2 answers
186 views

How were glottal stops indicated in Akkadian cuneiform?

According to Huehnergard, Akkadian had a phonemic glottal stop. This makes sense, given the language's heritage. However, he doesn't seem to mention it anywhere in the chapters on orthography, and I ...
8 votes
0 answers
69 views

Was the "a" glyph ever used for ajV in Hittite?

As fdb mentioned in a comment: The sequence a-a is a scribal convention for ajV [in Akkadian]. Some Assyriologists treat it as a single sign with the “Lautwert” aju, aji, aja In Hittite, ...
1 vote
1 answer
121 views

How to decode the Cuneiform ORACC data?

I just found this, the "OGSL Signlist" for Cuneiform. Remove the frame to get here. I click on a sign like A.EDIN and see this: Values:eribₓ; eru₄; erua; erum₄; ummuₓ; ummudₓ. for |A.EDIN| as ...
-1 votes
2 answers
191 views

Can you build words by sound in Sumerian Cuneiform?

I am messing around with Sumerian from here. Can you build words out of components and map them to "letters" of some sort? Like, how can you build new words in Sumerian? Basically, "ka-la-nu", can I ...
4 votes
1 answer
231 views

How are cuneiform glyphs numbered?

In Sumerian (and thus Akkadian, Hittite, etc) cuneiform, there are often several glyphs which have the same pronunciation (as far as we can tell). So the glyphs pronounced /u/ will be transliterated ...
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to find translation for cuneiform script containing "man" and "heaven/god"

I have encountered some cuneiform on a concert tour poster: Source: https://eventation.ru/assets/template/images/NIGHTWISH/nightwish-010101-logotip-na-foto.jpg I was wondering what it could mean. ...
6 votes
2 answers
265 views

Were long vowels distinguished in cuneiform?

Hittite cuneiform occasionally shows "plene" spellings, with extra vowel signs that might indicate vowel length, or show the height of back vowels, or distinguish homophones (like the French grave ...
4 votes
1 answer
235 views

How do I know if a cuneiform character is a logogram or determinative?

When I'm looking at a Hittite text, occasionally I'll come across a glyph that has no phonetic meaning. This generally means one of two things: either it's a logogram, or it's a determinative. Either ...
3 votes
2 answers
302 views

Are there non-binary or gender-neutral cuneiform determinatives?

There seems to be a decent amount of historical evidence for categories of people in ancient Mesopotamia who were considered neither male nor female. However, the standard cuneiform determinatives I'...
4 votes
0 answers
203 views

How can I tell if a vowel is "empty"?

In Hittite cuneiform, every glyph with a phonetic meaning is either V (a vowel), CV (a consonant followed by a vowel), VC, or CVC. As a result, there's no way to represent three consonants in a row ...