This book brings together pioneering studies on the world's oldest literature, which was composed before and after 2000 BCE in the extinct language Sumerian. All the contributions are based on the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL), a project of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University that has edited and published nearly four hundred compositions and acts as a repository for research in Sumerian grammar, lexis, and style. The ETCSL, which is accessible through the internet and can be read for pleasure as well as study, is the only linguistically annotated and translated corpus of an ancient Near Eastern language. Each chapter of this book uses the ETCSL to approach a specific question relating to one or more compositions in the corpus, exploiting the new possibilities it offers to use quantitative methods and verify results. In addition to the themed studies, the book includes introductions to Sumerian literary language and corpus-linguistic approaches to research, as well as a catalogue of compositions. The material, methods, and results will be of great value to Assyriologists, literary scholars, and others investigating languages through a corpus.
Graham Cunningham is a researcher and part-time lecturer in Sumerian at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Jarle Ebeling is a researcher at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.
1. Introduction 2. Sumerian literature 3. Corpus-based approaches to the study of Sumerian 4. Fear (ni2) and its collocates in the ETCSL corpus Graham Cunningham 5. Preverbal /n/: function and distribution Paul Delnero ( University of Pennsylvania) 6. ak nu-ak (to do or not to do) Jarle Ebeling 7. Bull imagery in Sumerian religious literature Laura Feldt ( Aarhus University) 8. Eme-sal in Old Babylonian literary texts: a corpus-based approach Alhena Gadotti (University of California, Berkeley) 9. The conjugation prefixes in the proverb collection Fumi Karahashi (University of Pennsylvania) 10. Lexical variety and curricular grouping in House F Eleanor Robson (University of Cambridge) 11. The polysemy and productivity of the derivative element nam- in OB literary Sumerian Balint Tanos (L. Eotvos University, Budapest) 12. A quantitative analysis of the Sumerian proverb collections Jon Taylor (British Museum) 13. The multi-word construction igi bar in the Old Babylonian Period Gabor Zolyomi (L. Eotvos University, Budapest) 14. Catalogue of literary compositions in the ETCSL with reference to print publications
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