The akkadien (lišānum akkadītum) is a Semitic Langue which was spoken about. It is divided into two dialects: the Babylonian , in the south of the Mésopotamie (see Babylon) and the Assyrian , in north (see Assyrie).
Akkadien also designates the inhabitant of the country of Akkad.
The akkadien, vernacular language
The akkadien was the vernacular Language people Sémites of Mésopotamie at least since the 3rd millenium. Its diffusion area includes the Lowone, the Susiane and Mésopotamie power station, where speaks itself what one traditionally calls “Babylonian” (because spoken in the Babylonian kingdom about the 2nd millenium, even if it is present in D `other kingdoms during the previous periods), while more in north the second great alternative is spoken about the akkadien, “Assyrian” (attested by the sources coming from Assyrie). These two forms of the akkadien remain rather close and know parallel evolutions (see low). On area of Means Euphrate, another language, éblaïte (of city of Ebla), which one does not know if it is of type is or west-Semitic, is attested since half of the 3rd millenium. It is thus probable that the akkadien was never the vernacular language there, since this area is dominated thereafter by people speaking about the west-Semitic languages (Amorrites, Araméens).
Since these languages are known only by the written documents, it is however impossible to know with certainty which language was spoken, and the opinions of the specialists diverge sometimes on this question.
The old akkadien is the language of the texts of the period of the antiquated Dynasties, and especially of the Empire of Akkad. The oldest texts in language akkadienne were found with Abu Salabikh, Nippur or Kish, and date from, whereas L `vast majority of the written texts are it in sumérien. At the period of the Empire of Akkad, the akkadien becomes the official language of this kingdom, and thus takes a great importance on the international plan, becoming the language of diplomacy of the populations Sémites which are dominant since the country of Akkad until the Syria of North. After the fall of this empire, one sees a return to the use of the sumérien in the foreground with the Third dynasty of Ur. When this last fall at the end of the 20th century, the akkadien becomes the dominant written language, whereas the Sumérien is not undoubtedly spoken any more.
Assyrian and Babylonian
With the divergence between the two dialects occurs Assyrian and Babylonian.
The akkadien, international language
At the time amorrite (first half of the 2nd millenium), the akkadien definitively supplanted the sumérien at the international level , after the fall of the Third dynasty of Ur. The diplomatic akkadien always follows the form practiced in the south mésopotamien, Babylonian, because of dominant position of this area on the cultural level (the emergence of the literary akkadien is done in parallel). At the second millenium, the akkadien is written in all the the Middle East, of the Anatolia to the Western Iran, in Egypt, and until in the Persian Gulf: it became the common language of this area of the World. This place is delighted for him only in first half of the thousand-year-old 1st, by the Araméen. For all this period which constitutes its apogee, the akkadien is practiced everywhere, and its use is not limited to the international exchanges, but also relates to in many places the literary, legal, commercial writings. It is the phenomenon of the peripheral akkadien.
The peripheral akkadien
The kingdom of Husband of the beginning of the 18th century, for which we have a considerable batch of files, is undoubtedly populated people having for vernacular language the amorrite. The akkadien does not remain about it less the language of the administration mariote. It is then almost identical to the Babylonian paléo- . It comprises some phonetic specificities specific to the dialects of High Mésopotamie (frequency of the sound - E), and also of the particular grammatical practices.
Alalakh (Such Açana) delivered two important batches of files Cunéiforme S. the first, found in its archaeological level VII, date of the time amorrite (18th century). He is thus written in paléo- Babylonian. The second batch, found in level IV, goes back to the 15th century, and is thus of Babylonian type medio- . The language of these two batches presents local characteristics, especially that of the second level, which presents certain resemblances to the Assyrian , but also the Hourrite.
The site of Boğazköi, the Hattusha antique, capital of the Hittites, delivered many texts in language akkadienne, that they are literary, religious, or diplomatic texts (treaties, international correspondence). The adoption of the akkadien by the chancellery of Hattusha is done as of the beginnings of the kingdom, at the end of the 16th century, when Hattushili Ier extends the power hittite in direction of the Syria. But the akkadien was already known before in Anatolia, of the time of the Assyrian commercial counters in Cappadoce (19th front century J. - C.), in the form paléo- Assyrian.
The files of Nuzi dating from the 14th century are written in akkadien, whereas the city is populated as a majority of people speaking the Hourrite. This language is of médio-Babylonian type, but the scribes did not handle well this idiom, principal of many faults, and employing words, expressions or turnings hourrites.
The files Wedge-shaped S found on the Egyptian site of el Amarna (the Akhetaton antique), for the majority are written in akkadien, of Babylonian type standard. About thirty the texts found are of literary type, while the 350 others constitutes the correspondence of the Egyptian kings of the middle of the 14th century (Amenhotep III, Akhénaton, Toutankhamon). Because of their various sources, they show the specific characteristics to their country of origin (Hatti, Mitanni, Babylon,…). The case most interesting for linguistics is that of the letters known as “cananéennes”, written by the vassal kingdoms of the Egypt located on Raising (Tyr, Byblos, Gaza,…). The language of these letters presents many features specific to the west-Semitic languages spoken in these countries, the languages “cananéennes”. They approach this fact of the found texts akkadiens with Ougarit.
The files akkadiennes of Ougarit (14th-13th centuries) relate to especially the diplomatic texts, like some letters. The texts concerning the internal businesses of this kingdom were primarily written in language Ougaritique, in a Alphabet (known as also ougaritic). The language akkadienne written in Ougarit, of Babylonian type medio- , was influenced by the ougaritic language, from which it borrows vocabulary, like certain turnings.
The literary akkadien
At the time paléo-Babylonian (or amorrite), the akkadien is the language in which large literary works are designed, nuns, scientists, instead of the sumérien. One uses it for the royal inscriptions, the mythological texts, the anthems, the prayers, the incantations, etc This form of the akkadien present of the particular aspects, in particular of many features archaïsants, aiming at giving him a worthy aspect. The literary akkadien has some originalities from the phonological point of view: less vocalic contractions and harmonies, falls of the final vowel of the prepositions ina , ana and eli , which becomes proclitic, the built state of the name has a final in - U in the singular and female plural, etc One employs as certain turnings of languages more often as in akkadien running, like the locative or the terminational one, and syntax is looser (verb N `is not always at the end of the sentence).
The “Babylonian standard”
The Babylonian standard is elaborate in the circles well-read men of the Babylonia kassite in second half of the 2nd millenium. This language is in the line line of the paléo-Babylonian arts person, as well on the level of the subjects as the writings which are made in this language than on the level of the characteristics of this one. If it takes again many features of the paléo-Babylonian arts person, the Babylonian standard is influenced by the vernacular shapes of L `akkadien which are contemporary for him. The mimation thus disappears, the š after a dental consonant (D, T, ṭ) becomes a L, etc From the point of view of morphology, the nominal cases are marked (confusion between the personal one and the accusative), the ventif one is very current, without having precise function, the pronouns enclitic - šu and - ša are often confused, the forms of the state builds paléo-Babylonian arts persons are taken again, etc the Babylonian standard is not only used in Babylonia (its standard form being that qu `it takes in the Enuma Elish), but also in Assyrie, them néo-Assyrian royal inscriptions being written in this form of the Assyrian akkadien, and not in (in spite of the presence of some “assyrianisms”).
Principles of the language akkadienne
Place among the Semitic Languages
The akkadien is the oldest Semitic language which is known for us. It shows the main features of this language: consonant roots with dominant trilitères, conjugation, basic vocabulary. The akkadien preserves certain antiquated features, in particular the various nominal cases. Among the Semitic languages, this language constitutes the branch known as Eastern, with possibly the éblaïte.
Loans with the Sumérien
As of the oldest time where she is known to us, the language akkadienne was subject to a strong influence on behalf of the sumérien, language which its speakers côtoient much. It borrowed several of its features to him: verb at the end of the sentence, predilection for the nominal sentences. Many words akkadiens are inherited the sumérien. Generally, one locates it by the fact that their final consonant, preceding the case ending, is redoubled at the time of the passage in akkadien. For example DUB.SAR, the scribe , becomes tupšarru (m) . Of the same É.GAL, literally large house , i.e. the palate, gives ekallu (m) . This heritage coming from a language deeply different from the Semitic languages constitutes the principal originality of the akkadien by reports/ratios to the other languages of this group. That results in to make impossible the classification by roots in the dictionaries of akkadien, like one does it for the other Semitic languages.
It is also to announce that the akkadien influenced also the sumérien on its side, at least the vocabulary.
The phonetic base of the akkadien is varied than that of the majority of the Semitic languages. On the level of the semi-consonants, only the aleph (') remains present all along the period of documentation in akkadien, at the residual state, and it integrates Ain (ˁ), the yod, the ġaïn, H and the ḥ. W disappears gradually after the medium from the 2nd millenium. The H of the akkadien is a hard consonant, like the jota Spanish, sometimes written ḫ or transcribed KH . There is no H glottal. If not this language has the emphatiques ones of K (Q), T (ţ) and S (ṣ), and hushing, š. The vowels present are has it, U (or), I and the E, and can be lengthened in two manners (ā, ū, ī, ē and â, U, I, E).
There exist some particular phonetic rules in akkadien. Most important is the fall of the final vowel of the second syllable in a succession of two short open syllables: *parisū (Pa-laughed-sū) > parsū .
Like all the Semitic languages, the words, adjectives and verbs akkadiens are formed at the base by consonant roots, in their trilitères vast majority. One represents them by the consonants the component: PRS, ŠPR, NDN, etc There exist some roots known as weak, which count one or two semi-consonants (Aleph, Waw or yod), or a long vowel in their root: ' LK, (W) BL, KūN, etc
As it was known as higher, the principle of the roots is limited in akkadien by the many loans to the sumérien carried out by this language.
In akkadien, the root being used as paradigm, especially for the verbs, is PRS, which means “to slice”, “to decide”.
The akkadien has simply two kinds: masculine, and the female one, distinguished by the morpheme - (A) T added to the root, as in the majority of the Semitic and Afro-Asian languages. Three numbers coexist: singular, plural, and duel (not very used). There exist three different cases: personal, marked by a termination in - U (m) , the accusative - has (m) and the genitive (which has also a value of dative) - I (m) . In the plural, these two last form one case, known as obliques.
The names have also a built state, which generally consists of the fall of the case ending, and which is used to introduce a direct genitive (indirect genitive being introduced by the preposition ša ): šar mati (m) = šarru (m) ša mati (m) = “the king of the country”.
They are generally after the word or group words which they determine. They behave like substantives, and have same the kind, number and case that what they qualify. However, the variation of the adjective differs from that of the name on the level of the plural masculine (- ūtum, - ūtim).
The akkadien distinguishes in theory only the aspect from the verbs (accomplished or unaccomplished), and not time (past, present, future). One thus distinguishes the state from achievement of an action, according to if it is finished (accomplished) or that it is occurring or that it did not take place yet (unaccomplished). The accomplished one thus corresponds in French to last made up, pluperfect and former future (respectively accomplished of the past, the present and the future), while the unaccomplished one corresponds to the present indicative, the preterit and the future (unaccomplished of the past, of the present, and the future).
The other current verbal forms are the requirement, perfective the/perfect one (indicating a consecutive action to another), the précatif/cohortatif one (indicating a wish), the stand (action which lasts, permanent state). The infinitive forms and participle are substantives formed on the verbal root.
The person is marked by a prefix, and sometimes a suffix:
1è sg. :
- 2nd Mr. sg has. : your
- 2nd F. sg. : your (V) - ī
- 3rd Mr. sg. : I
- 3rd F. sg. : your
- 1è pl.: nor
- 2nd pl.: your (V) - ā
- 3rd Mr. pl.: I (V) - ū
- 3rd F. pl.: I (V) - ā
Here a table of basic conjugation; the combined forms are with the third nobody male singular:
- unaccomplished: iPaRRaS
- perfect: iPtaRaS
- imperative: PuRuS
- stand: Précatif Paris
- : liPRuS
- infinitive: PaRāS-u (m)
- takes part: PaRīS-u (m)
Like the other Semitic languages, the verb akkadien is combined according to three systems:
- the system G ( Grundstamm ), or system I, basic conjugation
- resourcefulness ( Doppelungstamm ), or system II, emphatique and factitive; it is marked by a redoubling of the second consonant of the root, and prefixes with a vowel U: achieved uPaRRiS
- the system Š, or system III, which is causative; one adds infix made up of one - š- after the personal prefix, which is composed of a vowel U: achieved ušaPRis
- the system NR or system IV, liability of system G/I; one adds infix - N after the personal prefix, which disappears often phonetically: achieved *inPaRuS>iPPaRuS
There are also three “subsystems”. The first (G) is the basic subsystem, the second (WP) has an aspect emphatic or partitive, whereas the third (Gtn) mark a repetitive aspect (“to make unceasingly”).
One distinguishes two types of personal pronouns: independent and dependant (or enclitic). They are declined like the names according to three cases.
Independent pronouns personal:
With the difference in the others Semitic Langues which have a syntax in SVO, the akkadien has a syntax in SOV, because of influence of the Sumérien. Among the object, the direct object (accusative) precedes the indirect object (dative/genitive). The subordinate clauses are generally introduced by a pronoun (often ša = “which”, “that”), and their verb ends in a specific prefix, - U in Babylonian, - nor in Assyrian.
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