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Old 2020-03-15, 13:18   #1
xilman
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"𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭"
May 2003
Down not across

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Default 𒅴𒂠 𒌵𒆠 (Sumerian & Akkadian)

A thread to home everything pertaining to the languages and scripts used in ancient Mesopotamia. In principle Old Persian could live here too.

To put things in perspective, Sumerian was as dead or living a language at the date of the founding of Rome as Latin is today. That is, widely read and written by the intelligencia but it hadn't been spoken as a first language for well over a thousand years.

A quick rummage at DuckDuckGo turned up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrsIW0akb6o which convinced me that it shouldn't be too difficult to learn the language. A dozen or so other videos are available in the same series.

I remembered Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash was based heavily on the idea that Sumerian was the pre-Babel universal language. Sure enough on page 111 appears the string a ma la gen ba dam gal nun ka aria su su nu na an da

Two weeks' study is nowhere near long enough to be able to translate it properly, if indeed it is Sumerian, but even so I recognize /gal/ ������
as the adjective "great", /an/ ������"heaven, sky, god" and /nu/ ������as the negating element generally translated as "not". An hour or so with a dictionary turned up words which mean "ship" and "people" (the latter is /su su/, where /su/ ������ means "person" and plurals are generally formed by duplicating the noun). All very much true to the context of the narrative which suggests to me that Stephenson was paying attention to an Assyrologist.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-06-28 at 15:26 Reason: Add context for new thread structures.
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