?

Log in

No account? Create an account

sumerianwotd

KI-AG2 - to love

« previous entry | next entry »
Apr. 26th, 2004 | 08:45 pm
posted by: shar_gaz in sumerianwotd

This week's Sumerian word is made of two cuneiform signs, "ki" and "ag2". "ki-ag2" means "to love", and looks like this:



As you can see, we've had the sign "ki" as a previous word. "ag2" is a new sign. The phoneme at the end of the sign, which in the past was written "g", is actually an "ng" sound - this phoneme is a recent discovery. (All 'g's are not 'ng's in Sumerian, though - only some of them. In older literature they're not differentiated, but they are in newer literature.) The compound as a whole would be pronounced "key ong" ('a's are always pronounced long, so the second word would rhyme with "song" rather than with "sang".)

In Sumerian (according to P. Steinkeller), love has a very specific social context. A superior loves an inferior, but inferiors cannot love their superiors. A god can love a human, but a human cannot love a god - humans fear or respect gods. Rather than exactly indicating warm, fuzzy feelings, "love" indicates something like preferment or benevolence.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {23}

shar_gaz

(no subject)

from: shar_gaz
date: Apr. 27th, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC)
Link

You know, I don't have the reference handy. That's actually from conversation with him rather than from reading an article - I'm not even sure if he's written it up, though he probably has. If I come across the reference I'll get back to you, though, for sure.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Kate Orman

(no subject)

from: kateorman
date: Apr. 27th, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks (in Sumerian) :-)

Reply | Parent | Thread