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Sumerian language

The Sumerian language of ancient Sumer (or, more accurately, Shumer) became extinct and was forgotten until the 19th century. It does not have any known affinities to other languages (though interesting theories, linking it to Magyar or Euskara, exist). This distinguishes it from other languages of the area such as Hebrew, Akkadian, which also comprises Babylonian[?] and Assyrian, and Aramaic, which are Semitic languages. The aforementioned languages have no familial connection with the ancient Egyptian language.

Sumerian was the first language to be written with a cuneiform or "wedge-shaped" script, which was later also used for Akkadian. This script was even adapted to Indo-European languages like Hittite (which also had a hieroglyphic script, as did the Egyptians and the Mayans) and Old Persian[?].

The language is agglutinative, as opposed to modern isolating languages like Chinese, in which word parts appear separated. Sumerian made heavy use of compounding; ki and dingir (land and god) come together to form the native name for Shumer, Ki-engir. Similarly, the words for big and man are compounded for the Sumerian word for king, lugal.



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