Oldest read-able language?

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Re: Oldest read-able language?

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-12, 20:20

Unmundisto wrote:Thanks for the answer. Those two were what I was thinking too, due to what I've been reading in this forum about Sumerian. Quite reasonably, then, Sumerian would be an appealing choice for an ancient language to study for actual modern speaking use. Reviving the oldest.


I don't think that it's such a good idea to revive Sumerian. I 'm planning to revive Gothic together with some people and I can actually find most words used in Plato, the Sophist in Gothic dictionaries because all those words which are used are delivered to us. Gothic alphabets are also not hard to learn for a revival. The only problem is that we don't know the actual syntax, unless the Skeireins was native Gothic syntax, while for Sumerian you will face a lot of more problems:

1. If you have new speakers, you can't, just as with Hebrew, let them read old Sumerian texts natively, unless you want to use a very complicated system

2. Although we know quite some words of Sumerian the words are usually built like this:
en-na-bi-šè: until now; until the time ('time' + 'this one' + 'towards')

As a related language to Sumerian is at the best not known to us anymore and otherwise doesn't even exist anymore, we have no idea how to put together words in the way in which it would be appropriate for Sumerians. As for Gothic, since Gothic was a Germanic language we can do with the same method as Icelandic or German does it, but for Sumerian we haven't any related languages left so you really get some conlang with a very high amount of non-Sumerian-like content.

3. Where do you want to start a speaker-community? The traditional place where Sumerian was spoken is around modern day Iraq. With the previous governments they would definitely oppose non-Islamic cultures and languages but ISIS you will definitely get problems. If you want to revive Sumerian among people which have nothing to do with Sumerian it would be an interesting experiment but the culture which you get has nothing to do with Sumerians, as there aren't any related people to Sumerians left which would want to learn the language. For a language like Gothic or Church-Slavonic or Latin you can find people which have some relation with the language to learn it (Latin : Romance language speakers, Gothic: Germanic language speakers, Old-Church Slavonic: Slavonic language speakers)

Although I agree with you that it would be very interesting to have people which can read old Sumerian texts with ease because they are brought up with it, it's not going to happen until we find huge texts, but this means, really huge texts of Sumerian to research.

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Re: Oldest read-able language?

Postby Gormur » 2020-02-05, 11:20

It's probably Akkadian. Epic of Gilgamesh was written based on it in cuneiform

I guess that's what you say. I'm not a historian :hmm:
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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