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Grant number like: FB-51973-05

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Fumi Karahashi
University of Pennsylvania Museum (Philadelphia, PA 19104)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

The Sumerian Verbal System: Meaning and Syntax

The grammar of Sumerian, the world’s first written language, has concentrated almost exclusively on morphology. While this has resulted in the identification of the components of the verbal system, it remains unclear exactly how these components work together. The research project proposed in this application will take the new approach of considering both syntax and meaning to shed new light on the usage of verbs. Previously, such studies were impossible due to a lack of the required databases; the use of my current project, the Penn Parse Corpus of Sumerian, will, for the first time, enable quantifiable results for syntactic study. This project will consider documents spanning almost 400 years, from ca. 2100 BCE down to ca. 1700 BCE.