Sumerian is a split ergative language. It behaves as a nominative-accusative language in the 1st and 2nd person of present-future tense/incompletive aspect (aka maruu-conjugation), but as ergative-absolutive in most other instances. In Sumerian the ergative case is marked by the suffix -e and the absolutive case (as in most ergative languages) by no suffix at all (the so-called "zero suffix"). Example: lugal-e e2 mu-du3 "the king built the house"; lugal ba-gen "the king went". Further example: i3-du-un (<>i3-du-en) = I shall go; e2 i3-du3-un (<>i3-du3-en) = I shall build the house (in contrast with the three person past tense forms, see above). Similar patterns are found in a large number of unrelated split ergative languages (see more examples at split ergativity).
Sumerian distinguishes the grammatical genders animate/inanimate (personal/impersonal). Accordingly, Sumerian does not have separate male/female gender pronouns. Sumerian has also been claimed to have two tenses (past and present-future), but these are currently described as completive and incompletive aspects instead. There are a large number of cases - nominative, ergative, genitive, dative, locative, comitative, equative ("as, like"), terminative ("to"), ablative ("from"), etc (the exact list varies somewhat in different grammars).>>
« Older COLOURlovers blog... | 4 Brothers Beats. This is a tr... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt