Sumerian Study Group

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-03, 22:03

Eril wrote:@vijayjohn In the 1st and 3rd exercise we have partly different solutions. I'm quite sure about mine (I posted them above) - perhaps you want to re-check yours or tell me why you consider them right?

In the first one, I think the only real difference between us is that you analyzed {b, d, g} in Sumerian as being voiceless whereas I didn't, right? I think that was pretty much just my mistake. I got confused because Zólyomi refers to {b, d, g} as being "voiced graphonemes in Sumerian" within the exercise itself, and he also says within the chapter that the voiceless stops became voiced in most environments around 2000 BCE.

In the third one, my answers are the same as in the answer key as far as I can tell (or did I remember wrong?), and I'll admit I didn't check yours too carefully, but I don't think your answers are actually incompatible with mine. Perhaps Zólyomi deliberately picked prefixes and stems where low (or non-high) vowels go with other low vowels and high vowels go with high vowels; I don't know, but that was apparently the answer he was looking for.

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2018-12-06, 19:16

Oh, I had completely forgotten that there are official solutions.

About 3.1, yes, that would be the only difference. I must have overlooked that he says so in the exercise - and whatever is a "voiced graphoneme" even? But the exercise refers to borrowings between 3000 and 2000 BCE, so before that voicing I suppose (and they also make more sense before the voicing).

About 3.3, I had the feeling that Zólyomi had intended the exercises to have that clear-cut solution which you also arrived at. It's just not based on what the textbook provides as information. I hope future exercises will be a bit more straightforward.

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-12, 1:57

Eril wrote:About 3.1, yes, that would be the only difference. I must have overlooked that he says so in the exercise - and whatever is a "voiced graphoneme" even?

Well, in his lists of words, he says, "Sumerian {b, d, g} correspond to voiceless graphonemes in Akkadian" (followed by a bunch of examples beginning with e2-gal → ekallum 'palace'), "Akkadian {p, t, k} correspond to voiced graphonemes in Sumerian," etc. I think by "voiced graphonemes," he probably just meant something like "graphonemes that would represent a voiced consonant in IPA."

Anyway, at the risk of increasing my workload, what should we do next? :P

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2018-12-13, 19:27

Yeah, I assumed he means something along those lines, but it's still a misapplication of that term he possibly coined himself :?

Hm, next we should start with the next chapter :D
If we don't want to go too fast, read page 37-38.
If we want to increase speed slightly, then read page 37-40, i.e. the whole section 3.1.
Up to you ^^
Btw, who's still in?

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-17, 17:29

Judging from the lack of replies, I guess it's just the two of us for now. :P I guess we could try doing pages 37-38 by next week? Or I could, if you've already done them. :silly:

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2018-12-18, 15:00

Haven't done anything yet ^^
So, page 37-38 by the 23rd? Or by the 30th?

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-19, 3:41

Let's try for the 23rd and see how it goes! :P

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2018-12-21, 7:06

Done ^^ Needed to read some parts twice, though.
Also, considering that the lesson's first exercise will be to learn the words in the examples as vocabulary, I added those which were in these examples thus far (including grammatical suffixes/particles) to my Anki. 16 cards, so quite manageable.
And not sure whether I fully agree on the definition of enclitics given here, but it's clear what's meant as least.

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Antea » 2018-12-26, 19:56

I didn’t know exactly where to post this, so for the moment I post it here, in case you may be interested. I still haven’t watched it myself, but I saw it has subtitles in multiple languages.

https://youtu.be/pxYoFlnJLoE

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2018-12-27, 9:29

Already watched that some weeks ago, but nevertheless, thanks for sharing! Certainly good to see projects like this exist.

It's in Akkadian (Babylonian to be exact), so, different language family, but related culture.

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-08, 7:32

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, Eril! I'm trying to compensate for that right now by reading 3.1 in its entirety, to the end of p. 40. I should be done reading it in a few minutes or so. :) EDIT: Done!

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2019-01-08, 15:36

No problem!
Actually I'm fairly busy currently, at least during the week, so I didn't mind the delay much.
I'll try and finish section 3.1 as well until Sunday, and then we can perhaps do section 3.2 and 3.3 (only 3 pages in total) until the 27th or so.
Or should we speed up or slow down in any way?

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-11, 5:56

Nah, that sounds good! :D

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2019-01-26, 18:05

Done 8-)
And also read the short remaining section 3.4 and added the handful of vocab it contained.

Huh, I hope the book will be as step-by-step when it comes to the verbs, because those do look intimidating.

Next goal finishing the chapter?
It's quite some exercises (including some on cuneiform :shock:) so that should be enough for the following 2 weeks.

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-27, 5:59

I completely forgot that we'd agreed on trying to finish it by this weekend! Well, I just finished it. I'm confused by 3.3, though. Why does he say the results are /ā/ and /ē/ when no long vowels show up in surface form? :hmm:

Maybe it's just me, but I think even just exercise #2 may be big enough for us to attempt to do in two weeks!

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2019-01-27, 16:13

vijayjohn wrote:I completely forgot that we'd agreed on trying to finish it by this weekend! Well, I just finished it. I'm confused by 3.3, though. Why does he say the results are /ā/ and /ē/ when no long vowels show up in surface form? :hmm:


I wouldn't put much trust into the top-most row of the examples, admittedly - those are transliterations from cuneiform, after all, not the actual pronunciations. And I don't think I ever saw a vowel-length marker on such.

Maybe it's just me, but I think even just exercise #2 may be big enough for us to attempt to do in two weeks!
Well, then let's attempt to get as far in these exercises as we may!

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2019-02-10, 18:18

Only started today as I have been kept busy by other things.
But I did exercises 2-4 and checked with the solutions.

Exercise 2 l) was too difficult imo - it was nowhere taught that numerals take a possessive suffix to be used attributively (or that's how I interpret the gloss). And adjectives in general were not really introduced yet, so the gloss TL surprised me and I looked it up (it's explained in chapter 7).

In 2 r), is there any reason why this needs to be ergative and cannot be absolutive?

I couldn't think up the solution of 4 a) (and also got e) wrong accordingly), but otherwise I got most correct.

In 4 c) I think the ak at the end is also wrong - the possessor is already marked with ane.

How far did you get?

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-02-10, 18:59

I've barely started, albeit way before you. :shock: Sorry. :para:

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2019-02-10, 19:29

No problem ^^
I guess we both simply try and continue with the exercises and report back when we made any significant progress.
No idea how long the other ones take, and also not sure how long those 3 took me - didn't check my watch - but perhaps 1 hour I'd guess, possibly less, possibly a bit more.
The remaining 4 exercises are all about cuneiform, which I don't intend to really study at this time but learning a bit about them should be nice.

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Re: Sumerian Study Group

Postby Eril » 2019-03-03, 16:23

How are you getting along?

I completed the next 3 exercises last weekend. Albeit a bit sloppily, and I didn't find any tendencies regarding which sign was used pertaining to time or place, only in regards to phonetic context.

One exercise remaining, but for that we need Volk's sign dictionary, so I borrowed in from the university library yesterday (needed to go there anyway). It contains just 258 entries, so finding a symbol shouldn't be too much of a problem - but I don't see any rhyme or reason to the order of the signs in there, so finding ~20 symbols seems like a bit of a chore. It's supposed to be in the Neo-Assyrian order, but I don't know what that means.

Often more than one version of a sign is given, and considering how different shapes the same sign can take it would likely be quite difficult, especially when lacking knowledge about what the sign was supposed to look like in contrast to how it turned out in reality, but it would be very helpful if they could be sorted or at least given an index based on elements they consist of (triangles, stars, ...), like it's done with so-called radicals in Chinese characters. The way they are presented here I often don't even know which parts of them are significant for distinguishing the sign from other signs and which are redundant or even scribal mistakes not found in other attestations of the sign.

And for many signs, several pronunciation are given, so while I see the point in getting the student familiar with standard dictionaries, having instead a vocabulary list seems like the better choice from a didactic view. This way it feels like being supposed to decipher a Chinese handwritten text without being told anything about how the writing system works.


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