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Related to Sumerian: Sumerian civilization


1. a member of a people who established a civilization in Sumer during the 4th millennium bc
2. the extinct language of this people, of no known relationship to any other language



the language of the Sumerians, spoken until the late third millennium B.C.

Sumerian, whose linguistic affinity has not been established, is attested in cuneiform texts written in the period beginning in the 29th or 28th century B.C. and ending between the third and first centuries B.C. The texts are classified as Archaic Sumerian (before the 25th century); Classical Sumerian (24th-22nd centuries); New Sumerian (21st century); Late Sumerian (early second millennium), which is attested mainly in literary texts but also in business documents; and Post-Sumerian, which appeared in written form when Sumerian was retained only as a second literary language, after Akkadian.

Sumerian grammar includes an ergative construction, in which the subject of a transitive verb is marked by means of a special case and the subject of a verb of state (including a state resulting from an action—that is, an object) is unmarked. Verbs of action have two aspects; there is no category of tense. Sumerian has affixes that express agreement with the subject of a verb of action or of state, as well as with all indirect objects and several adverbial expressions.

Case relationships are marked by suffixes that are added sequentially to the noun; these suffixes, which may reach approximately ten in number, also serve as subordinating elements in nominalized constructions that replace subordinate clauses. There are markers for several types of plural, including, in addition to the collective and definite plurals, a plural that expresses all the objects in a given class. All nominal grammatical markers appear at the end of such syntagms as “headword—modifier” or “noun-subordinate clause” in inverse order with respect to the words they refer to. Certain words and phonemes were taboo for women.


D’iakonov, I. M. lazyki drevnei Perednei Azii. Moscow, 1967.
Falkenstein, A. Das Sumerische. (Handbuch der Orientalistik.) Leiden, 1959.


References in periodicals archive ?
Though it's a northern constellation, Mas-tab-ba gal-gal, the Great Twins (Gemini), was associated with the patron deity of the southern skies, Enki, the water-god of the archaic Sumerian city of Eridu.
Amazon Web Services has announced the launch of its Sumerian service, which aims to help developers build virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D applications, and run them on mobile devices, head-mounted displays, digital signage, or web browsers.
The earliest generally accepted terminus ante quem for all the Sumerian Laments together is 1925 BCE.
Dr Al Turky, who is one of less than 100 experts in cuneiform writing, said evidence showed that Sumerians believed Bahrain was the home of Utnaphishtim, a character in the epic of Gilgamesh mirrored as Prophet Noah by Muslims.
This is the second of GLBC's Sumerian Beer Project events; the first, a Sumerian beer dinner and lecture that was held at GLBC's Tasting Room in Cleveland on August 14th, was sold out.
So at the urging of Pat Conway, a Cleveland brewer and their partner in the project, Oriental Institute scholars created clay vessels like those presumably used by Sumerian beer-makers.
There are claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is heading towards the Earth.
Given our limited knowledge about the Sumerian brewing processes, we cannot say for sure whether their end product even contained alcohol", Damerow wrote.
UR, Iraq: Standing before the imposing ziggurat which was once part of a temple complex at the Sumerian capital of Ur, Iraqi archaeologist Abdelamir Hamdani worried about the natural elements that are eating away at one of Mesopotamia's wonders.
The English expert presented a script written in the Sumerian language, that was stolen from Baghdad Museum during the U.
Unlike the comedy character, Prescott plots are invariably successful and a double-headed hood devised for Sumerian for her maiden worked wonders as the home-bred filly of Dr Catherine Wills responded to the aid to win the 1m2f maiden under Seb Sanders, who was at pains to avoid using his whip for as long as possible as they held off Bitter Fortune.
In many ways, securitised assets are distant cousins of Sumerian commodity money (a derivative of the underlying commodity).