SUMERIAN
   Languagespoken in southern Mesopotamia until the beginning of the second millennium B.C. It was expressed in writing since the Early Dynastic period (earlier forms of cuneiform were not meant to reflect a particular idiom). Sumerian texts were written in the “main dialect” (emegir), and a secondary dialect was used for female speakers in the texts (emesal). It is not related to any other known languages. Its structure is agglutinative and ergative, and it differs greatly from the Semitic languages (e.g., Akkadian) that were current in Mesopotamia since the earliest written records. Most Sumerian sources date from the late third millennium B.C., the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur, when Sumerian was the official language for all documents. From the Early Dynastic period, there are important text collections from Abu Salabik and Shuruppak. Most of the extant copies of Sumerian literary texts (myths, prayers, hymns, humorous dialogues, fables, proverbs, and royal inscriptions) date from the Old Babylonian period. Sumerian probably became extinct as a spoken language by the mid-second millennium, but it continued to be transmitted in writing as part of advanced scribal training until the very end of cuneiform literacy.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sumerian — may refer to: *Sumerian people *Sumerian language *Sumerian script *Sumerian civilization, including **Sumerian history **Sumerian architecture **Sumerian mythology …   Wikipedia

  • sumerian — SUMERIÁN, Ă, sumerieni, e, s.m. şi f., adj. 1. s.m. şi f. Persoană care făcea parte din populaţia de bază a vechiului ţinut din sudul Mesopotamiei, Sumer. 2. adj. Care aparţine Sumerului sau sumerienilor (1), privitor la Sumer sau la sumerieni. ♦ …   Dicționar Român

  • Sumerian — Su*me ri*an, a. [Written also {Sumirian}.] Of or pertaining to the region of lower Babylonia, which was anciently called Sumer, or its inhabitants or their language. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sumerian — Su*me ri*an, n. [Written also {Sumirian}.] A native of lower Babylonia, anciently called Sumer. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sumerian — 1875, from Fr. Sumérien (1872), from Sumer, name of a district in ancient Babylonia …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sumerian — [so͞o mir′ē ən, so͞omer′ē ən] adj. 1. of Sumer 2. of the people of Sumer, an ancient non Semitic people of S Mesopotamia n. 1. a member of this people 2. the language of the Sumerians, extinct as a spoken language since c. 2000 B.C. although it… …   English World dictionary

  • Sumerian — noun Date: 1878 1. a native of Sumer 2. the language of the Sumerians that has no known linguistic affinities • Sumerian adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sumerian — /suˈmɪəriən/ (say sooh mearreeuhn) adjective 1. of or relating to Sumer, its inhabitants, their civilisation, or language. –noun 2. one of the Sumerian people. 3. the language of the Sumerians, of unknown relationship, preserved in very ancient… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Sumerian — adj. & n. adj. of or relating to the early and non Semitic element in the civilization of ancient Babylonia. n. 1 a member of the early non Semitic people of ancient Babylonia. 2 the Sumerian language. Etymology: F sumeacuterien f. Sumer in… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sumerian — /sooh mear ee euhn, mer /, adj. 1. of or pertaining to Sumer, its people, or their language. n. 2. a native or inhabitant of Sumer. 3. a language of unknown affinities that was the language of the Sumerians and had, in the late 4th and 3rd… …   Universalium

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