To achieve a basic understanding of Sumerian grammar
and of how cuneiform script functions.
To develop methodological
competence with the fundamental tools used in the study of the Sumerian
language, including grammatical tools, dictionaries, scripts and syllabaries.
On successful completion of the course, students
will be able to read and understand a very simple Sumerian text and recognize
the various morphological elements.
and the Sumerians
Materials used to support script
Basic structure of Sumer
The nominal chain
b) The adjective
c) Structure of the nominal chain
The verbal chain
a) Verbal classes
b) Hamtu and marû
c) Structure of the verbal
Methodology and organization
The theory of each thematic unit will be explained in
classroom lectures, where students will be provided with the basic tools they
need to complete the independent practical work required of the course. This
work will be one of the elements used to evaluate students progress, and will consist
of the translation of selected Sumerian texts in order to consolidate learning
of the language. The teacher will monitor and provide guidance on the
preparation of this work through a series of tutorial sessions with each
In addition to continual assessment of learning and
progress, students will sit a final exam consisting of the translation of a
simple Sumerian text.
L.-J. Bord, Petite grammaire du sumérien à l'usage des débutants, Paris, 2001
D.O. Edzard, Sumerian Grammar, Leiden/Boston, 2003.
Das Sumerische, Leiden, 1959.
J.L. Hayes A Manual of Sumerian
R. Jiménez Zamudio, Gramática
de la lengua sumeria, Madrid, 1998.
M.-L. Thomsen, The Sumerian Language.
An introduction to its history and grammatical structure, Copenague, 1984.