Sumerian Lemmatization Primer

A very quick start to get you lemmatizing Sumerian texts with the minimum effort possible.


Sumerian lemmatization works by drawing information from four places:

Sumerian uses the same basic parts of speech as Akkadian, but with the addition of three important ones:


As a matter of principle, it is best to do as little as possible when lemmatizing Sumerian. In the normal case, it is enough to lemmatize with a citation form and a sense--all of the other components will get filled in for you by either ePSD or the morphological analyzer.

In particular, ePSD's approach to adjectives in Sumerian is that almost all of them are simply verbs, whose nonfinite forms can be used in a variety of ways including modifiers and participles. We generally do not tag these using the Extended POS (EPOS), even where a word has more than one listed POS in ePSD. For example, you can lemmatize nir as nir[lordly] or nir[lord] and the lemmatizer will find the right POS/EPOS combination for you.

18 Dec 2019 osc at oracc dot org

Steve Tinney

Steve Tinney, 'Sumerian Lemmatization Primer', Oracc: The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, Oracc, 2019 []

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