History Four periods of Sumerian can be distinguished: Archaic Sumerian covered a period from about bc, when the first Sumerian records make their appearance, down to about bc.
Their meaning can depend on the TA. The term "conjugation prefix" simply alludes to the fact that a finite verb in the indicative mood must always contain one of them. The starting point of most analyses are the obvious facts that the 1st person dative always requires mu- and that the verb in a "passive" clause without an overt agent tends to have ba.
Proposed explanations usually revolve around the subtleties of spatial grammar, information structure focus verb valencyand, most recently, voice. Pronominal and dimensional prefixes[ edit ] The dimensional prefixes of the verb chain basically correspond to, and often repeat, the case markers of the noun phrase.
Like the latter, they are attached to a "head" — a pronominal prefix. The other place where a pronominal prefix can be placed is immediately before the stem, where it can have a different allomorph and expresses the absolutive or the ergative participant the transitive subject, the intransitive subject or the direct objectdepending on the TA and other factors, as explained below.
However, this neat system is obscured by the tendency to drop or merge many of the prefixes in writing and possibly in pronunciation as well. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd plural infixes are -me-,-re? A major exception from this generalization are the plural forms — in them, not only the prefix as in the singularbut also the suffix expresses the transitive subject.
Stem[ edit ] The verbal stem itself can also express grammatical distinctions. The plurality of the absolutive participant  can be expressed by complete reduplication of the stem or by a suppletive stem.
Reduplication can also express "plurality of the action itself",  intensity or iterativity. The stems of the 1st type, regular verbs, do not express TA at all according to most scholars, or, according to M.
Thus, as many as four different suppletive stems can exist, as in the admittedly extreme case of the verb "to go": On the other hand, adding a locative-terminative?
The moving of a constituent towards the beginning of the phrase may be a way to highlight it,  as may the addition of the copula to it. Subordinating conjunctions such as ud-da "when, if", tukum-bi "if" are also used, though the coordinating conjunction u3 "and", a Semitic adoption, is rarely used.
A specific problem of Sumerian syntax is posed by the numerous so-called compound verbswhich usually involve a noun immediately before the verb, forming a lexical or idiomatic unit  e. Some of them are claimed to have a special agreement pattern that they share with causative constructions:During the 3rd millennium BC, a close cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians, who spoke a language isolate, Language and writing.
The Sumerian language. Sumerian is the earliest documented language in Mesopotamia, and perhaps the world. Long after it ceased to be spoken as a mother tongue, knowledge of it continued to be maintained as a prestigious part of Mesopotamian scholarship until the death of cuneiform writing some two thousand years later.
Sumerian language: Sumerian language, During this time the Sumerians lost their When the decipherment of cuneiform writing was achieved in the early.
Did you know that writing came about by accident? Sumerians developed a novel manner to record trade information more than six thousand years ago. Language. Sumerian Language. The term 'Sumerian' applies to speakers of the Sumerian language.
The Sumerian language is generally regarded as a language isolate in linguistics because it belongs. The Sumerians began to develop cuneiform writing around BC, and used it to write their language until the death of spoken Sumerian roughly years later (scholars disa gree as to the.