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Ancient Near Eastern Studies


Introductory Sumerian 2

Course identification: 04-AO-SUME2
Class hours per week: 2
ECTS points: 5
Duration: 1 semester
Course offering: summer semester
Level: BA, second or third year

Übung: Introductory Sumerian 2

The Sumerian language, which is not related to any other known language, is the oldest written language of the ancient Near East. This module expands upon the introduction to the grammar, the vocabulary of Sumerian and the cuneiform with which it was written; the knowledge to be acquired by the students is reinforced through the reading of simple Sumerian texts from various genres. Emphasis is placed upon the Neo-Sumerian grammar, which is employed in the inscriptions of Gudea of Lagaš and elsewhere. In addition to the linguistic analysis of the texts, the inscriptions will also be considered from the perspective of political history, the history of religion and historical topography.

Learning objectives:
The student will possess an overview of the structure of the Sumerian language and especially of the criteria necessary for the analysis of forms, as well as the ability to use the most important resources (grammars, dictionaries, bibliographies, text editions). He/she will be able (1) to create reasonable genitive constructions in different cases from given nouns and translate these, (2) to combine given substantives with pronominal suffixes and case endings and translate these, to analyse verbal forms and translate these, (3) to read and translate simple royal inscriptions and other simple non-literary texts from the original cuneiform writing and (4) to analyse verbal forms given in transliteration from more difficult texts.

Written test (90 minutes).