Item description for Assyrian Grammar: An Elementary Grammar; With Full Syllabary; And Progressive Reading Book of the Assyrian Language, in the Cuneiform Ty by A. H. Sayce...
Assyrian Grammar: An Elementary Grammar; With Full Syllabary; And Progressive Reading Book of the Assyrian Language, in the Cuneiform Ty by A. H. Sayce
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Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.24" Width: 7.1" Height: 0.34" Weight: 0.59 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2002
Publisher Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN 1579109659 ISBN13 9781579109653
Availability 2 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 01:52.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Assyrian Grammar: An Elementary Grammar; With Full Syllabary; And Progressive Reading Book of the Assyrian Language, in the Cuneiform Ty?
But where do I start? Nov 12, 2003
A comprehensive book, but with out instructions as to the composition of cuneiform sentences; also advice on how to go about using this book to read cuneiform. Where do I start; How do I read this language? Other than this bit of information it apprears to very complete in providing one with the tools for reading cuneiform. There will be a lot of hunting and seeking until one gets familiar with the language. One wonders why one would do this. Jimmy
Words of the ancients... Aug 10, 2003
One of the remarkable things about a discipline such as archaeology is the incredible staying-power of many of the older works. Archaeology is a discipline that crosses over arts and humanities concerns into scientific realms, both physical science and social and behavioural science. yet, while many other disciplines regularly update and supersede their earlier works, in archaeology one will often find the 'most current' research is well over a hundred years old.
True, there are more current studies on Assyrian language than this text by Sayce, yet it remains a standard. Sayce was perhaps the foremost Assyriologist of his time; a professor at Oxford, he produced this text originally in 1875 for the purposes of teaching, and to that end it is well suited.
Until the advent of computer-driven printing services, it was rare indeed for a book such as this to use actual cunieform markings, preferring a substitution method for instruction. This early text (reprinted and made available from the second edition by Wipf and Stock), made no such compromises; the reader learns Assyrian language in the script of the language.
A knowledge of how language works is assumed (grammatical structures, as well as some knowledge of non-Latinate scripts -- Hebrew/Aramaic is very helpful here) and some familiarity with languages that do not have a strict adherence to sound-character correspondence would also be helpful. Cuneiform script is, after all, a kind of corrupted pictogram or hieroglyph, much in the manner that modern Chinese characters still retain hieroglyphic elements despite being much simplified and varied in use from the original image.
Like any language, there are large sections which must simply be committed to memory, both of rules and of vocabulary and word-construction variations. However, like any language, it was intended to be understood, not confused, and thus there are patterns which become clear upon closer inspection.
The grammar follows a fairly standard pattern of setting out pieces -- nouns, numerals, pronouns, verbs, prepositions, adverbs -- then discusses briefly the phonology (however, in many cases, these are educated guesses, based upon knowledge of related modern languages' phonology) and accentuation.
There are some reading exercises in the back -- unfortunately, there are no translations accompanying some of them, so the student without a teacher or Assyriologist handy (which means, most of us) will have to hope that the translation is correct.
In a mere 130 pages, one can learn one of the most ancient languages on earth, and gain an insight into the linguistic mindset of people who dominated the fertile crescent, the birthplace of civilisation, so many thousands of years ago.