Questions tagged [cuneiform]

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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 ...
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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. ...
OriginalOldMan's user avatar
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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Representation of /o/ phoneme in Cuneiform

I was reading Wikipedia's introduction into the Elamite language, where it says that it had a vowel inventory of /a/, /e/, /i/ and /u/. “What a coincidence,” I thought, “just like Akkadian!” Now, ...
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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6 votes
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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How do we name a sign when we don't know any of its readings?

In the Hittite text CTH 591, we see this curious passage: 9-an ŠI 9-an SIG₇-an 9-an GAŠAN-TI MU-ḪI.A-uš a-aš-šu-ša-aš 9-ACC eye 9-ACC yellow.green-ACC 9-ACC lady- ?? year-PL-ACC good....
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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Did the discovery of Akkadian texts written in Ugaritic script affect our knowledge of Akkadian?

Besides Ugaritic, Hurrian and Akkadian texts, written in Ugaritic alphabetic script, were also discovered at Ras Shamra.1 My question is straightforward: did the discovery of Akkadian texts written ...
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How to find source for cuneiform sign PAN 𒉼?

I am struggling to find any source image (photo or line art) for the cuneiform letter pan/ban 𒉼. From my understanding, the meaning is 'bow' and usually was used in conjunction with 'tree' 𒄑 to ...
Xan-Kun Clark-Davis's user avatar
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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 ...
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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'...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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)...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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Is there a systemic reason why some determinatives go after the corresponding substantive?

In Sumerian Cuneiform and its descendants, determinatives are used next to a sign to disambiguatr its meaning. Usually this comes before, like (Hittite examples to follow:) DINGIRIŠTAR, but apparently ...
awe lotta's user avatar
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
322 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?
Marek Lothrain's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
4k 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. ...
Andreas N's user avatar
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1 answer
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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"...
Draconis's user avatar
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Was the sign U gunû actually pronounced "ugunu"?

In Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform, the Akkadian word gunû "colored, decorated" is used to describe signs hatched across with little diagonal strokes. For example, the sign GAŠAN "lady" (...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Phonetic reconstruction of "Haremhab"

This is a follow-up question to Hippopotamus - Egyptian ḫꜣb - a phonosemantic calque?. In a lecture by Jacobus van Dijk the pronounciation of the Egyptian Haremhab is clarified to be something ...
vectory's user avatar
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2 votes
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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+...
Draconis's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
alexchandel's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
161 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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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The nature of “sign name”

In Akkadian context, there are basically two ways to “read” a given sign: (I): a logographic reading; the values are inherited from the Sumerian period. In this case, the sign will be transliterated ...
Ali Koohpaee's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

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
Banning's user avatar
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1 answer
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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,...
Draconis's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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A question about cuneiform transliteration

In Akkadian context, there are basically two ways to “read” a given sign: (I): a logographic reading; the values are inherited from the Sumerian period. In this case, the sign will be transliterated ...
Ali Koohpaee's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

What is the cuneiform glyph for peace? [closed]

Is there such a thing as a symbol or glyph for "peace" in cuneiform script. If it does exist, does it exist in the unicode block?
Eddie Hazel's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
296 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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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