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Title: Literary Old Babylonian
Written By: Shlomo Izre'el
Eran Cohen
Series Title: Languages of the World/Materials 436

Akkadian is a cover term for the Semitic languages of ancient Mesopotamia,
constituting the eastern branch of the Semitic family.

Akkadian, the most ancient Semitic linguistic continuum attested, was
written in the cuneiform script, mainly on clay tablets. It is attested
from the third millennium BCE to the third century CE. Linguistic research
of Akkadian has been relatively scanty, and grammatical descriptions of any
of the attested languages and dialects were intended primarily for didactic
purposes. Research has concentrated on phonology, and, especially, on
morphology, which is typically Semitic. Syntactic structures have remained
largely unexplored.

The grammatical description offered in LW/M is based on the language of
mythological narratives from the Old Babylonian period (the first half of
the second millennium BCE). Considering the state of the art and the frame
and goals of this series, the authors have confined themselves to a brief
model of the language and to defining the basic linguistic strategies of
Akkadian. As such, it may also serve as a guide to Semitic grammatical

All levels of the grammar of this language are treated together for the
first time: phonology, morphology, micro- and macro-syntax. Some attention
is given to linguistic variation, acknowledging the (relatively small)
diversity within the time-space continuum of the texts which constitute
this corpus. A short description of the cuneiform script will aim at giving
some idea of the problems one encounters in attempting to elicit the
linguistic data of Akkadian.

This grammatical description is written with a systemic, structural
conception of language in mind. It is intended first and foremost for
linguists for whom the language is inaccessible for various reasons, and
for Semitists whose expertise is not in Akkadian. However,
Assyriologists will benefit from it as well, as this description is unique
in its linguistic presentation, revealing important details hitherto unknown.

Shlomo Izre'el is professor of Semitic linguistics at Tel-Aviv University.
Eran Cohen is lecturer in linguistics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A provisional list of corrections to Literary Old Babylonian by Shlomo
Izre'el and Eran Cohen (Languages of the World/Materials, 81, München:
LINCOM, 2004) can be found at

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Akkadian
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3895867381
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 133
Prices: Europe EURO 42