By John L. Hayes
Publication by means of Hayes, John L.
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Additional info for A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts
The Akkadian god Sin is often called nannar Earn&,"the light of the heavens". This Akkadian word may be some kind of blend or contamination between the Sumerian word nanna and the Akkadian verb nawiiru, "to shine". Because of this Akkadian word, it was earlier thought that the Sumerian word had an /r/-Auslaut, and so the name sometimes appears as Nannar. However, there is no clear inner-Sumerian evidence which would indicate such an Auslaut. On the surface, the cuneiform sign which represents his name looks like it consists of two signs: the &-sign followed by the g-sign @ .
Particularly when writing grammatical morphemes, Sumerian prefers not to use CVC signs. Instead, the script uses a convention that represents the sequence CVC by two signs, CV-VC. For example, the segment /nir/ is commonly written as a-&. A writing such as a - g does not imply a long vowel. This practice is purely an orthographic convention which helps to reduce the potentially large number of CVC signs which would otherwise be necessary to handle all such cases. Many signs have more than one syllabic value.
At least the following syllable types occur: V, VC, CV, and CVC. These are the same syllable types present in Akkadian. Just as in Akkadian, it is usually thought that initial and final clusters do not occur; that is, there are no syllables of the type CCV or VCC. The fact that the observable syllabic structure of Sumerian is exactly like that of Akkadian raises the obvious question of whether other syllable types existed, but have been masked by Akkadian. The logographic nature of the script hides this kind of information.