Sumerian Language

Server Costs Fundraiser 2024

Help our mission to provide free history education to the world! Please donate and contribute to covering our server costs in 2024. With your support, millions of people learn about history entirely for free every month.
$3020 / $18000

Definition

The Sumerian language was spoken in southern Mesopotamia before the 2nd millennium BCE and was the first language to be written in the cuneiform script. It is an isolate language meaning we know of no other languages that relate to it ancestrally. Although there are some theories that Sumerian is a member of the Uralic languages like Hungarian and Finnish, or other language families, this is a minority view with insufficient evidence to make a definite claim. The language was spoken in a region where Semitic languages were also spoken, particularly Akkadian, and it eventually fell out of use in favor of those languages by the turn of the 2nd millennium BCE. However, a literary form of the language continued to be written for another 2000 years, and it also had notable influences on other languages of the region with respect to their lexicon, grammar, and writing.

More about: Sumerian Language

Timeline

Membership