View Full Version : Akkadian & Other Ancient Near East Languages
09-07-2007, 12:31 AM
Has anyone developed or synchronized grammars/fonts for other Ancient Near East languages like Akkadian with BW7.0?
Is that something that could be easily done? Just curious at this point.
09-09-2007, 11:46 PM
I can't speak for what others are doing, but I doubt if any Akkadian font is in the works. That's cuneiform, quite different from any other font available. It's syllabic, not alphabetic, so it would have a lot more characters. The little bit of Akkadian that I looked at a few years back in printed books was all transliterated. The Dead Sea scrolls seem to have overshadowed the Ebla tablets for the last few decades, so I don't know how many people world-wide are actually working with Akkadian. Maybe someone else who watches these threads has more extensive knowledge of this area.
09-10-2007, 11:04 AM
It's possible to compile texts in transliteration. The problem is that BibleWorks does not index all of the characters, so that the database can be displayed but it cannot be searched.
I worked on compiling the Amarna Tablets as given by Shlomo Izre'el (http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/semitic/amarna.html). They can be compiled with a bit of editing, but you'd have to use Prof. Isre'el's transliteration scheme rather than the typical Semitic transliteration scheme for it to be searchable. The text that Prof. Izre'el provides is not normalized, so it's not the easiest to figure out for those who are unfamiliar with the language--like myself.
I started taking Akkadian a few years ago and dropped it--mainly because courting my soon-to-be wife got in the way of good study habits! In all honesty, I know I made the right decision!
I'll see if I can locate the files I tried compiling somewhere in my hard drive tonight or tomorrow.
09-10-2007, 11:20 AM
Here are the files--attached as amarna.zip.
This is only one tablet (60).
The AML files contain the text as Prof. Izre'el provided them.
The AMA files contain the text as they would normally be transliterated.
The AMA files are buggy.
09-11-2007, 09:09 PM
The Dead Sea scrolls seem to have overshadowed the Ebla tablets for the last few decades, so I don't know how many people world-wide are actually working with Akkadian. Maybe someone else who watches these threads has more extensive knowledge of this area.
Ebla is written in Eblaite. It uses Sumerograms and is not Akkadian.
Cuneiform is writing system that Sumerian, Eblaite, and Akkadian use.
Be careful not to confuse writing systems with languages.
Akkadian is and has been studied by a lot of people (Assyriologists), and virtually all Assyriologists did not jettison their study for the Dead Sea Scrolls. Two different fields.
With that in mind, the best way to work with these languages is with transliteration for the sake of BW. All you need are a couple of diacriticals and to number several signs to get them to work properly.
There are a couple of sign databases, but for the purposes of Bibleworks using them would be far too difficult (hundreds and hundreds of signs written different ways).
Nevertheless including the Amarna Tablets (EA) in BW would be a helpful enterprise, normalized or not. For the purposes of biblicists, EA would help provide a picture of Palestine in the Late Bronze Age and to understand the general historical cycles that Palestine constantly found themselves in throughout history.
Jim:I've been taking Akkadian for years and it has been painful to say the least. You can always work through a grammar very easily and completely avoid the signs (gasp, anathema!) to get a basic knowledge of the language. Only the signs are difficult. If your Hebrew is passable it'll be easy to understand the grammar.
09-12-2007, 12:53 AM
Thanks, jakemccarty, for the correction. I remembered after I posted that Eblaite is not the same language as Akkadian, just a cognate. So I'm glad that someone in the field set that straight. And I'm glad to see that my impression (that much cuneiform study is done on the basis of transliteration) is not off base. Thanks again.
09-12-2007, 11:14 AM
As one who is changing programs due to Akkadian difficulties, I say BW is just fine without any. Although I would like to see other things, particularly NWS inscriptions (but we've discussed that before, several times.)
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