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12 votes

Is a final -u in Semitic languages known outside of Akkadian?

That Akkadian word-final -u is the Nominative case ending, the other case endings being -a for Accusative and -i for Genitive. Thus, the case forms of the noun bētu 'house' are: Nom.: bētu Acc.: ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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11 votes

Tabannusi in cuneiform script

As noted by Draconis, this is not a Sumerian but an Akkadian word, specifically a form of the verb banû, "to build". Specifically, I would analyze it as the G-durative (for the D-stem, the ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
9 votes

Tabannusi in cuneiform script

This is an Akkadian word, a form of banû "to build". My grasp of Akkadian conjugation isn't the best, especially for "weak" verbs that lose one of their consonants, but it looks ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes

What is Ś in Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform?

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 ...
fdb's user avatar
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7 votes

Proto-Uralic *kämä vs Akkadian kamūnu

... is said to derive from ... This is folk etymology. In a case like this, where it's a similar sounding word in many unrelated languages across a region, you should be especially skeptical. The ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
5 votes

Is a final -u in Semitic languages known outside of Akkadian?

The ending of the nominative singular -u, -un, -um is visible in Akkadian, Arabic, and Ugaritic. It was probably spoken in other languages (e.g. Ancient South Arabian, Ancient Aramaic), but not ...
fdb's user avatar
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4 votes
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What is the meaning of these verbal roots in The Concise Dictionary of Akkadian?

The index contains the root (expressed as the three root letters one after the other) and then the principal lemma(ta) (i.e. entries in the lexicon) in the dictionary. In Semitic languages, some roots ...
Tristan's user avatar
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4 votes
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How many sibilants did Old Akkadian cuneiform distinguish?

Gelb proposes that there were four sibilant series, somewhat confusingly named z, š₁₂, š₃, and š₄. The z series was written with signs ZA, ZÉ, ZI, ZU, and represented the outcome of what Semiticists ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes
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Meaning of Old Babylonian word pāqidūtum

pāqidūtu(m) is the nominative plural of pāqidu(m), the active participle of the verb paqādu “to entrust etc.” (In theory it could also be an abstract noun in -ūtu, as suggested in the other reply, but ...
fdb's user avatar
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4 votes

Meaning of Old Babylonian word pāqidūtum

The word pāqidūtum is not listed in the CAD, which suggests that it's likely not historically attested. But the word pāqidu(m) = "provider, overseer, caretaker", also included in the ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
4 votes
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How to decode the Cuneiform ORACC data?

A is the conventional name for a particular cuneiform glyph, typically its most common or best-known pronunciation. But the sign A can be read as a, aya₂, e₄, ea, ŋa₁₀, or many others. The JSON is ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes
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Were long vowels distinguished in cuneiform?

In Akkadian, Ca-a, Cu-u, Ci-i are often used to indicate Semitic long vowels, but this is not consistent. For example, dabābu “word” is usually written as da-ba-bu, but sometimes it appears as da-ba-...
fdb's user avatar
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4 votes
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Proto-Uralic *kämä vs Akkadian kamūnu

Just to add a bit to Adam's excellent answer: "Cumin" is what's called a Wanderwort or wander-word: it's a word associated with some sort of trade good, which spreads from language to ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes

How do we name a sign when we don't know any of its readings?

A relatively common convention (see e.g. the ETCSL sign list and Wikipedia) is to notate such "juxtaposed" compound signs by joining the component sign names with a period (.). That is, ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
3 votes

Did Sumerian have /ħ/?

Jagersma agrees with Gelb that Sumerian had "hidden" phonemes /h/ and /ʔ/, but disagrees about /ħ/. He points out that transcriptions of É (or É.GAL) generally use /h/, even in languages ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes
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A question about cuneiform transliteration

Yes, when a sign is transliterated in lowercase, it's being used to indicate the pronunciation of an Akkadian word—but the origin of that pronunciation is not specified. For example, the sign a is ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

How do you form demonyms in Sumerian as well as Akkadian?

Most Afro-Asiatic languages would indicate this with a nisba suffix (or as Huehnergard calls it, a "relative adjective"). And indeed, Akkadian has (or at one point had) that suffix too, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

How do you form demonyms in Sumerian as well as Akkadian?

Sumerian has very few words that can be described as "adjectives". Someone's homeland would instead be indicated by just combining nouns: lú adabki "the man from Adab". So if you ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes
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What was the meaning of the word "Guedena"?

The name was written literally GU-EDIN (or GU-EDIN-NA) in cuneiform. Radau suggests that GU here means Akkadian mātu "flat land, field" and EDIN means bamātu "open country, plain". ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why are there top-level words in Akkadian dictionary, all of which are unpronounceable directly?

Suppose you wanted to keep track of some data about each word in English. You go through a corpus and record every time someone uses each word; let's use "walk" as an example. You also ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes
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Which part of the Oracc data is to be used for pronunciation of Akkadian words?

The cuneiform writing system doesn't represent the sounds of Akkadian especially well. For example, Akkadian had three vowel lengths, but there were only two ways of writing these in cuneiform: plene ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes

What is the meaning of these verbal roots in The Concise Dictionary of Akkadian?

This is meant as an index for students who see an unfamiliar verb in a text, and need to look it up in the dictionary. Certain consonants in Akkadian are "weak": they assimilate or disappear ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
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The nature of “sign name”

As you've correctly surmised, each sign has one or more readings, which might be logographic, phonetic, or semagraphic (determinatives). The "name" of a sign is nothing more or less than its ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes

How many sibilants did Old Akkadian cuneiform distinguish?

I think you have examined this issue thoroughly. I was misled by von Soden's confusing notation. It does indeed seem that no known variant of Akkadian distinguished between Semitic s1 and s2.
fdb's user avatar
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2 votes
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Was the "a" glyph ever used for ajV in Hittite?

Sturtevant 1933 thought not (page 65, section 52). The only vowel sign to be written twice in successtion is a, as in a-a-an-za 'hot', a-a-an-ni-in-ni-ya-mi-iš 'cousin', a-a-ra 'customary' (?), a-a-...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
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How were glottal stops indicated in Akkadian cuneiform?

According to Huehnergard's grammar (appendix D.1.d), Babylonian scribes distinguished the sign 𒄴 from the sign 𒀪. The former was used for VH, and the latter for the glottal stop—some authors call it ...
Draconis's user avatar
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