The so-called Sumerian conjugation prefixes are the most poorly understood
and perplexing elements of Sumerian verbal morphology. Approaching the
problem from a functional-typological perspective and basing the analysis
upon semantics, Professor Woods argues that these elements, in their
primary function, constitute a system of grammatical voice, in which the
active voice is set against the middle voice. The latter is represented by
heavy and light markers that differ with respect to focus and emphasis. As
a system of grammatical voice, the conjugation prefixes provided Sumerian
speakers with a linguistic means of altering the perspective from which
events may be viewed, giving speakers a series of options for better
approximating in language the infinitely graded spectrum of human
conceptualization and experience.
About the author(s)
Christopher Woods, Ph.D. (2001) in Assyriology, Harvard University,
is associate Professor at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
His research interests include Sumerian language and writing, and early
Mesopotamian religion, literature, and history.
All of those interested in the languages of the ancient Near East,
particularly those who deal with primary sources written in Sumerian; the
book may also be of interest to general linguists and typologists.
Sumerian, Akkadian, grammar, voice, grammatical voice, semantics,
pragmatics, ancient Near East.
To order, please visit our website http://www.brill.nl or contact:
c/o Turpin Distribution
Stratton Business Park
Bedfordshire SG18 8TQ
T +44-(0) 1767 604-954
F +44-(0) 1767 601-640
For customers in the Americas
P.O. Box 605
Herndon, VA 20172-0605
T 1 800337 9255 (toll free US & Canada only)
T + 1 (703) 661-1585
F + 1 (703) 661-1501
Sign up for Brill's eBulletin in Language & Linguistics at
Download Brill's Language & Linguistics Catalog 2008