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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter (A) November 14, 2019

Native-speaker Intuitions about Genitive Constructions in Sumerian

  • Gábor Zólyomi EMAIL logo


This paper examines a remarkable variation in the new manuscript of En-metena 1 (RIME kept in the Sulaymaniyah Museum in Iraq: a left-dislocated genitive construction is replaced by a simple genitive construction. Also, the manuscript shortens the text in a number of places. The paper reviews other known examples of text abridgements in royal inscriptions of the 3rd millennium BC and suggests that the composers of these inscriptions used similar techniques to manipulate the texts according to their function and use as the scribes who wrote the Assyrian royal inscriptions of the 1st millennium. The new manuscript provides a rare opportunity to observe a scribe who adapts an already existing text using his linguistic competence.


I thank to Enrico Crucianelli, Zsombor Földi, Jan Keetman, and Gebhard Selz for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Published Online: 2019-11-14
Published in Print: 2019-11-06

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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