Sumerian sentence example

sumerian
  • The so-called " Sumerian Family Laws " are thus preserved.
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  • He was followed by a dynasty of 11 Sumerian kings, who are said to have reigned for 368 years, a number which must be much exaggerated.
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  • Indeed Sumerian continued to be the language of religion and law long after the Semites had become the ruling race.
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  • Changes in the manner of reading the Sumerian names are frequent.
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  • Briefly considered there are six most striking proofs that the Sumerian was based on a primitive agglutinative language.
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  • This dynasty of Ur was Semitic, not Sumerian, notwithstanding the name of Dungi.
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  • Sumerian pottery is different, but there are traces of a transition period.
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  • Besides the conventional use of certain signs as the indications of names of gods, countries, cities, vessels, birds, trees, &c., which, known as " determinants," are the Sumerian signs of the terms in question and were added as a guide for the reader, proper names more particularly continued to be written to a large extent in purely " ideographic " fashion.
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  • This etymological study of Sumerian is attended with incalculable difficulties, because nearly all the Sumerian texts which we possess are written in an idiom which is quite evidently under the influence of Semitic. With the exception of some very ancient texts, the Sumerian literature, consisting largely of religious material such as hymns and incantations, shows a number of Semitic loanwords and grammatical Semitisms, and in many cases, although not always, is quite patently a translation of Semitic ideas by Semitic priests into the formal religious Sumerian language.
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  • In fact, the first impression given by the bewildering labyrinth of the Sumerian 1 Die Entstehung des Ãltesten Schriftsystems oder der Ursprung der Keilschriftzeichen (Leipzig, 1897).
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  • Probably the oldest head-dress is the circular close-fitting cap (plain or braided), which, according to Meyer, is of Sumerian (non-Semitic) origin.
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  • In the early inscriptions of Lagash the whole district is known as Gu-Edinna, the Sumerian equivalent of the Semitic Kisad Edini.
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  • We may call the early civilization of Babylonia Sumerian.
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  • The great engineering works by means of which the marshes were drained and the overflow of the rivers regulated by canals went back to Sumerian times, like a considerable part of later Babylonian religion and the beginnings of Babylonian law.
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  • Sumerian in its turn borrowed from Semitic Babylonian, and traces of Semitic influence in some of the earliest Sumerian texts indicate that the Semite was already on the Babylonian border.
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  • Samas-sum-yukin became more Babylonian than his subjects; the viceroy claimed to be the successor of the monarchs whose empire had once stretched to the Mediterranean; even the Sumerian language was revived as the official tongue, and a revolt broke out which shook the Assyrian empire to its foundations.
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  • There were libraries in most of the towns and temples; an old Sumerian proverb averred that " he who would excel in the school of the scribes must rise with the dawn."
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  • Women as well as men learned to read and write, and in Semitic times this involved a knowledge of the extinct Sumerian as well as of a most complicated and extensive syllabary.
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  • A considerable amount of Semitic Babylonian literature was translated from Sumerian originals, and the language of religion and law long continued to be the old agglutinative language of Chaldaea.
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  • It will be convenient to begin with the later historical periods, and then to push our inquiry back into the earlier periods of Babylonian and Sumerian history.
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  • So, for -example, the word for " name " may be written by a sign MU, or it may be written out by two signs shu-mu, the one sign MU representing the " Sumerian " word for " name," which, however, in the case of a Babylonian or Assyrian text must be read as shumu - the Semitic equivalent of the Sumerian MU.
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  • Similarly the word for " clothing " may be written SIG-BA, which represents again the " Sumerian " word, whereas, the BabylonianAssyrian equivalent being lubushtu it is so to be read in Semitic texts, and may therefore be also phonetically written lu-bu-ush-tu.
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  • This script, together with the general Sumerian culture, was taken over by the Babylonians upon their settlement in the Euphrates valley and adapted to their language, which belonged to the Semitic group. In this transfer the Sumerian words - largely monosyllabic - were reproduced, but read as Semitic, and 1 Cf.
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  • Similarly in the case of the sign MU, which, besides signifying " name " as above pointed out, is also the Sumerian word for " give," and therefore may be read iddin, " he gave," from nadanu, or may be read nadin, " giver "; and when, as actually happens, a name occurs in which the first element is the name of a deity followed by MU-MU, a new element of doubt is introduced through the uncertainty whether the first MU is to be taken as a form of the verb nadanu and the second as the noun shumu, " name," or vice versa.
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  • In the case of texts from the oldest historical periods we encounter hundreds of names that are genuinely Sumerian, and here in view of the multiplicity of the phonetic values attaching to the signs used it is frequently difficult definitely to determine the reading of the names.
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  • Our knowledge of the ancient Sumerian language is still quite imperfect, despite the considerable progress made, more particularly during recent years.
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  • It is therefore not surprising that scholars should differ considerably in the reading of Sumerian names, where we have not helps at our command as for Babylonian and Assyrian names.
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  • If the former, then their names are surely to be read as Sumerian, while, if they were Semites, the signs with which the names are written are probably to be read according to their Semitic equivalents, though we may also expect to encounter Semites bearing genuine Sumerian names.
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  • For further details regarding the formation of Sumerian and Babylonian-Assyrian proper names, as well as for an indication of the problems involved and the difficulties still existing, especially in the case of Sumerian names,' see the three excellent works now at our disposal for the Sumerian, the old Babylonian, and the neoBabylonian period respectively, by Huber, Die Personennamen den Keilschrifturkunden aus der Zeit der Konige von Ur and Nisin (Leipzig, 1907); Ranke, Early Babylonian Proper Names (Philadelphia, 1905); and Tallqvist, Neu-Babylonisches Namenbuch (Helsingfors, 1905).
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  • Professors Peter Jensen and Zimmern have also done excellent work in the same field and, together with Haupt, have established the correct method of investigating the Sumerian vocables, which should be studied only in relation to the Sumerian literature.
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  • In fact, the first impression given by the bewildering labyrinth of the Sumerian 1 Die Entstehung des ältesten Schriftsystems oder der Ursprung der Keilschriftzeichen (Leipzig, 1897).
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  • In these instances, however, we can explain the difficulty away by applying that great fundamental principle followed by the Semitic priests and scribes who played with and on the Sumerian idiom, and in the course of many centuries turned what was originally an agglutinative language into what has almost justified Halevy and his followers in calling Sumerian a cryptography.
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  • It is quite conceivable that the still earlier Sumerian priesthood invented the method of orthographic inversion, which after all is the very first device which suggests itself to the primitive mind when endeavouring to express itself in a manner out of the ordinary.
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  • It should be added here in passing that the geographical or tribal significance of these two Sumerian dialects has never been established.
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  • Sumerian has a system of vowel harmony strikingly like that seen in all modern agglutinative languages, and it has also vocalic dissimilation similar to that found in modern Finnish and Esthonian.
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  • Thus, in Sumerian we find such forms as numunnib-bi, " he speaks not to him," where the negative prefix nu and the verbal prefix mun are in harmony, but in dissimilation to the infix nib, " to him," and to the root bi, " speak," which are also in harmony.
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  • Sumerian has only postpositions instead of prepositions, which occur exclusively in Semitic. In this point also Sumerian is in accord with all other agglutinative idioms. Note Sumerian e-da, " in the house " (e, " house," +da, " in," by dissimilation), and compare Turkish ev, " house," de, " in," and evde, " in the house."
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  • The method of word formation in Sumerian is entirely nonSemitic in character.
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  • For example, an indeterminative vowel, a, e, i or u, may be prefixed to any root to form an abstract; thus, from me, " speak," we get e-me, " speech"; from ra, " to go," we get a-ra, " the act of going," &c. In connexion with the very complicated Sumerian verbal system 2 it will be sufficient to note here the practice of infixing the verbal object which is, of course, absolutely alien to Semitic. This phenomenon appears also in Basque and in many North American languages.
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  • Sumerian is quite devoid of grammatical gender.
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  • All this is to the point with regard to Sumerian, because these very principles of inversion and substitution have been ' Prince, Materials for a Sumerian Lexicon, p. 14.
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  • Deliberate inversion certainly occurs in the Sumerian documents, and it is highly probable that this was a priestly mode of writing, but never of speaking; at any rate, not when the language was in common use.
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  • For example, evident Sumerian inversions are Gibil, " the fire god," for Bil-gi; ushar for Sem.
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  • It is, moreover, highly probable that Sumerian had primitively a system of voice-tones similar to that now extant in Chinese.
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  • Thus, we find Sumerian ab, " dwelling," " sea "; ab, " road," and -ab, a grammatical suffix, which words, with many others of a similar character, were perhaps originally uttered with different voice-tones.
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  • In Sumerian, the number of conjectural voicetones never exceeds the possible number eight.
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  • It is also clear that Sumerian was actually read aloud, probably as a ritual language, until a very late period, because we have a number of pure Sumerian words reproduced in Greek transliteration; for example, Delephat = Dilbat, " the Venus-star"; Illinos = the god Illil = Bel; aido = itu, " month," &c.
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  • In view of the many evidences of the linguistic character of Sumerian as opposed to the one fact that the language had engrafted upon it a great number of evident Semitisms, the opinion of the present writer is that the Sumerian, as we have it, is fundamentally an agglutinative, almost polysynthetic, language, upon which a more or less deliberately constructed pot-pourri of Semitic inventions was superimposed in the course of many centuries of accretion under Semitic influences.
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  • See Prince, Materials for a Sumerian Lexicon, s.v.
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  • On the philological methods of the ancient Babylonian priesthood, see Prince, Materials for a Sumerian Lexicon, Introduction.
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  • Somewhere, apparently, in the 4th millennium B.C., we begin to find inscriptions written on clay, in an almost linear script, in the Sumerian tongue.
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  • A number of hymns and prayers addressed to the chief Babylonian gods, and written throughout in the Sumerian language, have been found at Nippur, and these may be dated in the era of the kings of Ur and Isin, since some of them are mentioned by name in the petitions.
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  • It is natural that under the Sumerian revival, which characterized the united kingdom of Sumer and Akkad, the ancient ritual should have been revived and the Sumerian servicebooks adapted for the use of the reigning monarch.
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  • Sumerian, in fact, predominated, not only on the historical monuments, but also throughout the religious literature, a fact which militates against assigning the newly discovered Semitic legend to the period of these early Sumerian texts.
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  • One of its oldest names, however, was Din-tir, of which the poets were especially fond; Din-tir signifies in Sumerian "the life of the forest," though a native lexicon translates it "seat of life."
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  • This was when the two Sumerian city-states of Lagash and Umma brokered an agreement to end a water dispute along the Tigris River.
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  • Nibiru The other aspect of Sumerian mythology covers cosmology.
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  • If the Sumerian knowledge did indeed appear out of thin air, then Sitchin's interpretation of the Sumerian texts gains credence.
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  • Back to top Scholars used the Latin noun for a wedge (cuneus) in calling the Sumerian writing cuneiform.
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  • He considers pictographic languages ranging from the natural Mayan hieroglyphics and Sumerian cuneiform, to recent experiments such as Elephant's Memory.
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  • His inscription talk of him being given the kingship of the nation by Enlil, the supreme Sumerian god.
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  • See S. N. Kramer: Sumerian mythology (revised edition by Harper Torchbooks, 1961 - 1st publication 1944 ), p. 40.
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  • Nibiru, for his part, appears to be very similar to the Sumerian god Utu (alias the Akkadian god Shamash ).
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  • According to the latter Sumerian priests served naked (p. 112).
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  • The conservatism which is a feature of proper names everywhere, in consequence of which the archaic traits of a language are frequently preserved in them, just as they are preserved in terms used in the ritual and in poetic diction, is sufficient to account for the interesting fact that the Semitic settlers of the Euphrates valley in handing down their names from one generation to another retained the custom of writing them in " Sumerian " fashion, or, as we might also put it, in "ideographic" form.
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  • The so-called " Sumerian problem," which has perplexed Assyriologists for many years, may be briefly stated as follows.
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  • These invaders, according to this latter view, adopted the religion and culture of the conquered Sumerians; and, consequently, the Sumerian idiom at a comparatively early date began to be used exclusively in the Semitic temples as the written vehicles of religious thought in much the same way as was the medieval Latin of the Roman Church.
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  • In order to comprehend the mysteries of the Sumerian problem a thorough examination of the beginning of every one of these signs is, of course, imperative, but it is equally necessary that every phonetic Sumerian value and word-combination be also studied, both in connexion with the equivalent signs and with other allied phonetic values.
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  • Nibiru, for his part, appears to be very similar to the Sumerian god Utu (alias the Akkadian god Shamash).
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  • Ancient Sumerian and Egyptian medical texts dated as early as 4000 B.C. mention the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) as the source of a milky fluid (opium latex) that could be given to relieve coughs and insomnia as well as ease pain.
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  • It is possible that, like many Christian stories, this is a re-telling of an older Sumerian myth regarding the goddess Ishtar.
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  • In many cultures, including Sumerian, Mesopotamian and ancient Greece, demons are another name for elemental spirits such as nymphs, satyrs, djinn and more.
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  • In the Sumerian texts of Babylonia it was called Numma, "the Highlands," of which Elamtu or Elamu, "Elam," was the Semitic translation.
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  • The earliest Sumerian records seem to be anterior to 4000 B.C. Shortly after that period Babylonia was invaded by Semites, who became the ruling race.
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  • This, by the way, points to the conclusion that Babylonian (Sumerian) culture and art were considerably older than the Egyptian; but we have no definite evidence yet on this point.24 Later points of artistic connexion may be seen when we compare the well-known bronze statues of Pepi I.
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  • In this case the signs representing Sumerian words were treated merely as syllables, and, without reference to their meaning, utilized for spelling Babylonian words.
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  • The excavations in the other larger mound resulted in the discovery of the remains of buildings containing objects of all sorts in bronze and stone, dating from the earliest Sumerian period onward, and enabling us to trace the art history of Babylonia to a date some hundreds of years before the time of Gudea.
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  • From the inscriptions found at Tello, it appears that Lagash was a city of great importance in the Sumerian period, some time probably in the 4th millennium B.C. It was at that time ruled by independent kings, Ur-Nina and his successors, who were engaged in contests with the Elamites on the east and the kings of Kengi and Kish on the north.
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  • With the Semitic conquest it lost its independence, its rulers becoming patesis, dependent rulers, under Sargon and his successors; but it still remained Sumerian and continued to be a city of much importance, and, above all, a centre of artistic development.
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  • The study of the Sumerian vocabulary falls logically into three divisions.
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  • Sumerian words should by no means be compared with words in the idioms of more recent peoples, such as Turkish, in spite of many tempting resemblances.'
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  • Until further light has been thrown on the nature of Sumerian, this language should be regarded as standing quite alone, a prehistoric philological remnant, and its etymology should be studied only with reference to the Sumerian inscriptions themselves.
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  • On the other hand, grammatical and constructional examples may be cited from other more modern agglutinative idioms, in order to establish the truly linguistic character of the Sumerian peculiarities and to disprove the Halevyan contentions that Sumerian is really not a language at a11.4 It is not surprising that Halevy's view as to the cryptographic nature of Sumerian should have arisen.
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  • See especially his Sumerian grammar in this latter work, pp. 133-147.
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  • The present writer in his Materials for a Sumerian Lexicon has mentioned this ruling phenomenon again and again.
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  • Examples of this, the leading principle which was followed by the framers of the Sumerian system, might be cited almost ad infinitum.
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  • Facts of this character taken by themselves would perhaps be sufficient to convince most philologists that in Sumerian we have an arbitrarily compounded cryptography just as Halevy believes, but these facts cannot be taken by themselves, as the evidences of the purely linguistic basis of Sumerian are stronger than these apparent proofs of its artificial character.
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  • Sumerian presents a significant list of internal phonetic variations which would not have been possible in an arbitrarily invented language.
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  • The discussion of these phenomena brings us to another point which precludes the possibility of Sumerian having been merely an artificial system, and that is the undoubted existence in this language of at least two dialects, which have been named, following the inscriptions, the Eme-ku, " the noble or male speech," and the Eme-sal, " the woman's language."
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  • It is now known that the literary idiom of the Babylonian wise men was the non-Semitic Sumerian; but it is not probable that the late author of Daniel (c. 168 B.C.) was aware of this fact.
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  • Scholars of this opinion believe that this language, which has been arbitrarily called " Akkadian " in England and " Sumerian " on the European continent and in America, was primitively the speech of the pre-Semitic inhabitants of the Euphratean region who were conquered by the invading Semites.
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  • Professor Paul Haupt may be termed the father of Sumerian etymology, as he was really the first to place this study on a scientific basis in his Sumerian Family Laws and Akkadian and Sumerian Cuneiform Texts.
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  • On the other hand the cult of a specific storm-god in ancient Babylonia is vouched for by the occurrence of the sign Im - the "Sumerian" or ideographic writing for Adad-Ramman - as an element in proper names of the old Babylonian period.
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  • It must be remembered that the reading of most of the early Sumerian proper names is merely provisional, as we do not know how the ideographs of which they are composed were pronounced in either Sumerian or Assyrian.
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