Sumerian language

Not all epigraphists are equally reliable, and before publication of an important treatment of a text, scholars will often arrange to collate the published transcription against the actual tablet, to see if any signs, especially broken or damaged signs, should be represented differently.

A Classified List of Sumerian Ideographs by R. Brünnow appeared in 1889.

The Sumerian Language: An Introduction to its History and Grammatical Structure

There is relatively little consensus, even among reasonable Sumerologists, in comparison to the state of most modern or classical languages. Verbal morphology, in particular, is hotly disputed. In addition to the general grammars, there are many monographs and articles about particular areas of Sumerian grammar, without which a survey of the field could not be considered complete.

The primary institutional lexical effort in Sumerian is the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary project, begun in 1974. In 2004, the PSD was released on the Web as the ePSD. The project is currently supervised by Steve Tinney. It has not been updated on-line since 2006, but Tinney and colleagues are working on a new edition of the ePSD, a working draft of which is available on-line.

Assumed phonological or morphological forms will be between slashes //, with plain text used for the standard Assyriological transcription of Sumerian. Most of the following examples are unattested.

Syllables could have any of the following structures: V, CV, VC, CVC. More complex syllables, if Sumerian had them, are not expressed as such by the cuneiform script.

The copula verb /me/ "to be" is mostly used as an enclitic: -men, -men, -am, -menden, -menzen, -(a)meš.

"At Enlil's command, he threw his great battle net over it and heaped up burial mounds for it on the plain."