Here , I would like to show , consensus(of opinions) and difference of opinions of the most famous Sumerologists about Sumerian grammar . For this aim, I have chosen four wellknown books about " The Sumerian grammar" , and I have introduced those hereunder at abbreviations:
1- H.J.L MSG = Hayes.John.Lewis “ A manual Sumerian Grammer and Texts Aid…1990 Undena.
2-D.O.E SG= Edzard .Dietz .Otto. “Sumerian Grammar”2003 BrillLeiden.
3-P.A GSG = Poebel.Arno “ Grundzüge Sumerischen Der Grammatik “ 1923
4-P.A SP= Poebel.Arno “ The Sumerian Prafix forms E- and I- in Time of Earlier Princes of The Lagash” 1931 by The University of ChcagoIllinois.
H.J.L MSG p.1 .Introdation. about difficulties in studying Sumerian language and grammar. He said:” Sumerian is not well understood as is Akkadian; a number of features in the morphology and in the syntax are not clear. Although there has been considerable linguistic progress in the last two decades, enough still remain unsure so that scholars often have widely divergent views about Sumerian. Some of the reasons for these difficulties are summarized here; they will be discussed in more detail in the course of this book.
(1) Sumerian is not genetically related to any other known language, living or dead. By contrast, it was discovered early-on that Akkadian was a Semitic language. This genetic relationship aided early scholars in their reconstruction of Akkadian grammar and vocabulary. But in the case of Sumerian, there is no such help available.
(2) The writing system of Sumerian only imperfectly mirrors the spoken language; it does not indicate all the grammatical features which are known to have existed in the spoken language. This schematic nature of the script makes it very difficult to reconstruct the morphology.
(3) There are many instances of sentences which seem to differ only slightly in their morphology or syntax. But with no comparative evidence, and with no native speakers to turn to, it is difficult to determine what these differences in morphology and syntax may mean. There are undoubtedly many nuances of meaning which cannot be determined at all.
It has been remarked by Igor Diakonoff, “ It is a joke well known among Assyriologists that there are as many Sumerian language as there are Sumerologists” (1976:99). Similarly, Thorkild Jacobsen has recently said : knowledge of Sumerian is still in a rudimentary, experimental stage where scholars differ on essential points, so that translations, even by highly competent scholars, may diverge so much that one would never guess that they rendered the same text. … Scholar have not yet been able to agree on basic grammar and its restrain(1987;xv)”.
He has been continued on p18, on the subject of Problem of Sumerian phonology, and then he says:” it is not easy to reconstruct the phonological system of Sumerian, or the precise pronunciation of any of its sounds. …there is no comparative evidence to provide help. Moreover, most of the evidence for Sumerian phonology has been filtered through the Akkadian phonological system; Sumerian phonology is seen through Akkadian eyes. For instance, it is quite likely that the word for “son” in Sumerian was pronounced/domu/,with an initial /o/ quality vowel. But Akkadian does not have an /o/- quality vowel, and hence no /o/-sign, and so word is spelled out in syllabic Akkadian as: du-mu. if there were only Akkadian evidence, it might never be known that Sumerian had an /o/-quality vowel. Thus, the Sumerian of the Ur III period( 2112-2004 BC) is actually based on Akkadian of the Old Babylonian period (1894-1595 BC), and later. ( Similarly, much knowledge of Sumerian grammar derives from the interpretations given to it by Akkadian-speaking scribes and scholars; ..). Likewise, very little is known about the historical development of Sumerian phonology. … Without the evidence of lexical lists, it is quite difficult to fix the value of s logogram. … The upshot of this is that Sumerian probably possessed sounds which Akkadian did not.”.
p.26 :”… Oftn, reference ( Sumerian words) is made to Akkadian words which were borrowed from these Sumerian words. This practice is open to methodological criticism, since Akkadian is not Sumerian, and there is no reason to assume that Sumerian words always kept exacttly the same meaning when placed into an Akkadian context. But since normally much more is known about the Akkadian term than about the Sumerian term, it is useful to examine the Akkadian equivalents.
Again , I would like to say: In that book and many or all such like writings, many signs or words of Sumerian by Sumerologists have been changing. I think those works are incorrect , and Sumerian scribes have been writing right. for example : : domu,/ng = η in some words are incorrects /, ke4,e2, i3, am3, and Sumerian:domo,/ng in a few words like : dug4,sig4 ../, lil2, ka,NI,a-an are corrects.
H.J.L MSG. p.19. He says:”. …Thus,virtually all transliterations of Sumerian will use the value dumu for “son”,even though this is one of the clearest cases where an/o/-quality value can be postulated for Sumerian.
H.J.L MSG .p .19-20. :” Similarly,it is sure that Sumerian had a velar /η/ , which did not exist in Akkadian. The sign /mu/ for example, represents /ηu/ , the velar nasal follwed by an /u/-quality vowel;… The sign… ( MU) represents/ηu/, the velar nasal followed by an /u/-quallity vowel; this is the morpheme for the first person singular possessive-sufix on nouns. But the normal value of this sign in Akkadian is /mu/…. Virtually all Sumerologists accept the existence of the velar nasal /η/ (although somescholars prefer to speak of a palatal nasal, and others have seen more complex phonemes,such as /ηm/. When Sumerian word containing this phoneme are loaned into Akkadian,it is usually ( although not always)reflected as ng. For example, saĝa “ kind of priest” appears in Akkadian as šangû.
I reply:/mu/ is correct. In 3 dialects : “/mo/ means : date tree, moon,month,(ex: 6 month), I, my, mine.” In Sumerin’s verbal chain prefix/mu-/ is equal to prefix of e- . In S-dialect me- prefix is equal that. But , I think mo- prefix is a KH-dialect , or mu- prefix is a unknown- dialekt in my country ,dead or alive. S-dialect has not any /e-/ prefix. For example: in S-dialect / me-na-da/ =/ e-na-de / in B-dialect means “ he/she was building/making/ laying/placing”.
Had Sumerian a nasal [ng=η]? I think yes, that is right , Sumerian had a velar /ng/ in a few of words.
S-dialect,B-dialect,k-dialect: “dong”= dug4 “speech,word ,preaching,command; ”donga”= words, …”for (ng=η), sig4= seng "stone" . Sumerian : gu3 =” to speak”, = du11. But do = du11 only in S-dialect means “speech,declamation (while defying an enemy), ”. But “ go” =gu3 is stem of “ to speak. Other words like:/deng o feng / tong,bong,jeng,pang, …etc./ have this nasality η ( = ng).