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Elamite, also known as Hatamtite, is an
extinct language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between s ...
that was spoken by the ancient Elamites. It was used in present-day southwestern
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
from 2600 BC to 330 BC. Elamite works disappear from the archeological record after
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
entered Iran. Elamite is generally thought to have no demonstrable relatives and is usually considered a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. and are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. A language isolate is a language that is unr ...
. The lack of established relatives makes its interpretation difficult. A sizeable number of Elamite lexemes are known from the trilingual
Behistun inscription The Behistun Inscription (also Bisotun, Bistun or Bisutun; fa, بیستون, Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian ...
and numerous other bilingual or trilingual inscriptions of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
, in which Elamite was written using
Elamite cuneiform Elamite cuneiform was a logo-syllabic script used to write the Elamite language. The complete corpus of Elamite cuneiform consists of c. 20,000 tablets and fragments. The majority belong to the Achaemenid era, and contain primarily economic recor ...
(circa 400 BCE), which is fully deciphered. An important dictionary of the Elamite language, the ''Elamisches Wörterbuch'' was published in 1987 by W. Hinz and H. Koch. The
Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second princip ...
script however, one of the scripts used to write the Elamite language circa 2000 BC, has remained elusive until recently.


Writing system

Two early scripts of the area remain undeciphered but plausibly have encoded Elamite: *
Proto-Elamite The Proto-Elamite period, also known as Susa III, is the time from ca. 3100 BC to 2700 BC in the area of Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite: ''hatamti''; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script tha ...
is the oldest known writing system from Iran. It was used during a brief period of time (c. 3100–2900 BC); clay tablets with Proto-Elamite writing have been found at different sites across Iran. It is thought to have developed from early
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is name ...

cuneiform
(proto-cuneiform) and consists of more than 1,000 signs. It is thought to be largely logographic. *
Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second princip ...
is attested in a few monumental inscriptions. It is often claimed that Linear Elamite is a syllabic writing system derived from Proto-Elamite, but it cannot be proven. Linear Elamite was used for a very brief period of time during the last quarter of the third millennium BC. Later,
Elamite cuneiform Elamite cuneiform was a logo-syllabic script used to write the Elamite language. The complete corpus of Elamite cuneiform consists of c. 20,000 tablets and fragments. The majority belong to the Achaemenid era, and contain primarily economic recor ...
, adapted from
Akkadian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo- syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized ...
, was used from c. 2500 to 331 BC. Elamite cuneiform was largely a
syllabary In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
of some 130 glyphs at any one time and retained only a few
logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lang ...
s from Akkadian but, over time, the number of logograms increased. The complete
corpus Corpus is Latin language, Latin for "body". It may refer to: Linguistics * Text corpus, in linguistics, a large and structured set of texts * Speech corpus, in linguistics, a large set of speech audio files * Corpus linguistics, a branch of lingui ...
of Elamite cuneiform consists of about 20,000 tablets and fragments. The majority belong to the
Achaemenid The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subj ...
era, and contain primarily economic records.


Linguistic typology

Elamite is an
agglutinative language An agglutinative language is a type of synthetic language A synthetic language uses inflection In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is a process of word formation, in which a word is modified to express different grammatica ...
, and its
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
was characterized by a well-developed and pervasive nominal class system. Animate nouns have separate markers for first, second and third person, a rather unusual feature. It can be said to display a kind of
Suffixaufnahme Suffixaufnahme (, "suffix resumption"), also known as case stacking, is a linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and mo ...
in that the nominal class markers of the head are also attached to any modifiers, including adjectives,
noun adjunct A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many l ...
s, possessor nouns and even entire clauses.


History

The history of Elamite is periodised as follows: * Old Elamite (c. 2600–1500 BC) * Middle Elamite (c. 1500–1000 BC) * Neo-Elamite (1000–550 BC) * Achaemenid Elamite (550–330 BC) Middle Elamite is considered the “classical” period of Elamite, but the best attested variety is Achaemenid Elamite, which was widely used by the
Achaemenid Persia The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of ...
n state for official inscriptions as well as administrative records and displays significant
Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages * Indo-Iranians, the various peoples speaking ...
influence. Documents from the Old Elamite and early Neo-Elamite stages are rather scarce. Neo-Elamite can be regarded as a transition between Middle and Achaemenid Elamite, with respect to language structure. The Elamite language may have remained in widespread use after the Achaemenid period. Several rulers of
Elymais Elymais or Elamais (Ἐλυμαΐς, Hellenic form of the more ancient name, Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite: ''hatamti''; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several l ...
bore the Elamite name Kamnaskires in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. The ''
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
'' (c. 80–90 AD) mentions the language as if it was still current. There are no later direct references, but Elamite may be the local language in which, according to the
Talmud The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the ...

Talmud
, the ''
Book of Esther The Book of Esther (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans ...
'' was recited annually to the Jews of Susa in the
Sasanian period
Sasanian period
(224–642 AD). Between the 9th and 13th centuries AD, various
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
authors refer to a language called ''Khuzi'' spoken in
Khuzistan Khuzestan Province ( fa, استان خوزستان ''Ostān-e Khūzestān'') is one of the 31 provinces of Iran Iran is subdivided into thirty-one province, provinces ( fa, استان ''Ostān''), each governed from a local centre, usually ...
, which was not any other language known to those writers. It is possible that it was "a late variant of Elamite".


Phonology

Because of the limitations of the language's scripts, its phonology is not well understood. Its consonants included at least stops /p/, /t/ and /k/, sibilants /s/, /ʃ/ and /z/ (with an uncertain pronunciation), nasals /m/ and /n/, liquids /l/ and /r/ and fricative /h/, which was lost in late Neo-Elamite. Some peculiarities of the spelling have been interpreted as suggesting that there was a contrast between two series of stops (/p/, /t/, /k/ as opposed to /b/, /d/, /g/), but in general, such a distinction was not consistently indicated by written Elamite. Elamite had at least the vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/ and may also have had /e/, which was not generally expressed unambiguously. Roots were generally CV, (C)VC, (C)VCV or, more rarely, CVCCV (the first C was usually a nasal).


Morphology

Elamite is
agglutinative The middle sign is in Hungarian, which agglutinates extensively. (The top and bottom signs are in Romanian and German, respectively, both inflecting languages.) The English translation is "Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Satu Mare County D ...
but with fewer morphemes per word than, for example,
Sumerian
Sumerian
or
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
and
Urartian The Urartian or Vannic language was spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu, located in the region of Lake Van, with its capital near the site of the modern town of Van, Turkey, Van, in the modern-day Armenian Highlands area of T ...
and it is mostly suffixing.


Nouns

The Elamite nominal system is thoroughly pervaded by a
noun class In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
distinction, which combines a gender distinction between animate and inanimate with a personal class distinction, corresponding to the three persons of verbal inflection (first, second, third, plural).
The suffixes are as follows:
Animate:
:1st person singular: ''-k'' :2nd person singular: ''-t'' :3rd person singular: ''-r'' or ''Ø'' :3rd person plural: ''-p'' : Inanimate:
:''-∅'', ''-me'', ''-n'', ''-t'' The animate third-person suffix ''-r'' can serve as a nominalizing suffix and indicate nomen agentis or just members of a class. The inanimate third-person singular suffix ''-me'' forms abstracts: ''sunki-k'' “a king (first person)” i.e. “I, a king”, ''sunki-r'' “a king (third person)”, ''nap-Ø'' or ''nap-ir'' “a god (third person)”, ''sunki-p'' “kings”, ''nap-ip'' “gods”, ''sunki-me'' “kingdom, kingship”, ''hal-Ø'' “town, land”, ''siya-n'' “temple”, ''hala-t'' “mud brick”. Modifiers follow their (nominal) heads. In noun phrases and pronoun phrases, the suffixes referring to the head are appended to the modifier, regardless of whether the modifier is another noun (such as a possessor) or an adjective. Sometimes the suffix is preserved on the head as well: :''u šak X-k(i)'' = “I, the son of X” :''X šak Y-r(i)'' = “X, the son of Y” :''u sunki-k Hatamti-k'' = “I, the king of Elam” :''sunki Hatamti-p'' (or, sometimes, ''sunki-p Hatamti-p'') = “the kings of Elam” :''temti riša-r'' = “great lord” (lit. “lord great”) :''riša-r nap-ip-ir'' = “greatest of the gods” (lit. "great of the gods") :''nap-ir u-ri'' = ''my god'' (lit. “god of me”) :''hiya-n nap-ir u-ri-me'' = ''the throne hall of my god '' :''takki-me puhu nika-me-me'' = “the life of our children” :''sunki-p uri-p u-p(e)'' = ”kings, my predecessors” (lit. “kings, predecessors of me”) This system, in which the noun class suffixes function as derivational morphemes as well as agreement markers and indirectly as subordinating morphemes, is best seen in Middle Elamite. It was, to a great extent, broken down in Achaemenid Elamite, where possession and, sometimes, attributive relationships are uniformly expressed with the “
genitive case In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
” suffix ''-na'' appended to the modifier: e.g. ''šak X-na'' “son of X”. The suffix ''-na'', which probably originated from the inanimate agreement suffix ''-n'' followed by the nominalizing particle ''-a'' (see below), appeared already in Neo-Elamite. The personal pronouns distinguish nominative and accusative case forms. They are as follows: In general, no special possessive pronouns are needed in view of the construction with the noun class suffixes. Nevertheless, a set of separate third-person animate possessives ''-e'' (sing.) / ''appi-e'' (plur.) is occasionally used already in Middle Elamite: ''puhu-e'' “her children”, ''hiš-api-e'' “their name”. The relative pronouns are ''akka'' “who” and ''appa'' “what, which”.


Verbs

The verb base can be simple (''ta-'' “put”) or “
reduplicated In linguistics, reduplication is a Morphology (linguistics), morphological process in which the Root (linguistics), root or Stem (linguistics), stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change. The ...

reduplicated
” (''beti'' > ''bepti'' “rebel”). The pure verb base can function as a verbal noun, or “infinitive”. The verb distinguishes three forms functioning as
finite verb Traditionally, a finite verb A verb () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
s, known as “conjugations”. Conjugation I is the only one with special endings characteristic of finite verbs as such, as shown below. Its use is mostly associated with active voice, transitivity (or verbs of motion), neutral aspect and past tense meaning. Conjugations II and III can be regarded as periphrastic constructions with participles; they are formed by the addition of the nominal personal class suffixes to a passive perfective participle in ''-k'' and to an active imperfective participle in ''-n'', respectively. Accordingly, conjugation II expresses a
perfective aspect The perfective aspect ( abbreviated ), sometimes called the aorist Aorist (; abbreviated ) verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ' ...
, hence usually past tense, and an intransitive or passive voice, whereas conjugation III expresses an
imperfective The imperfective ( abbreviated or more ambiguously ) is a grammatical aspect Aspect is a grammatical category A grammatical category or grammatical feature is a property of items within the grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient ...
non-past action. The Middle Elamite conjugation I is formed with the following suffixes: : Examples: ''kulla-h'' ”I prayed”, ''hap-t'' ”you heard”, ''hutta-š'' “he did”, ''kulla-hu'' “we prayed”, ''hutta-h-t'' “you (plur.) did”, ''hutta-h-š'' “they did”. In Achaemenid Elamite, the loss of the /h/ reduces the transparency of the Conjugation I endings and leads to the merger of the singular and plural except in the first person; in addition, the first-person plural changes from ''-hu'' to ''-ut''. The participles can be exemplified as follows: perfective participle ''hutta-k'' “done”, ''kulla-k'' “something prayed”, i.e. “a prayer”; imperfective participle ''hutta-n'' “doing” or “who will do”, also serving as a non-past infinitive. The corresponding conjugation is: In Achaemenid Elamite, the Conjugation 2 endings are somewhat changed: There is also a periphrastic construction with an
auxiliary verb An auxiliary verb (abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...
''ma-'' following either Conjugation II and III stems (i.e. the perfective and imperfective participles), or ''nomina agentis'' in ''-r'', or a verb base directly. In Achaemenid Elamite, only the third option exists. There is no consensus on the exact meaning of the periphrastic forms with ''ma-'', but durative, intensive or volitional interpretations have been suggested. The optative is expressed by the addition of the suffix ''-ni'' to Conjugations I and II. The imperative is identical to the second person of Conjugation I in Middle Elamite. In Achaemenid Elamite, it is the third person that coincides with the imperative. The prohibitative is formed by the particle ''ani/ani'' preceding Conjugation III. Verbal forms can be converted into the heads of subordinate clauses through the addition of the suffix ''-a'', much as in
Sumerian
Sumerian
: ''siyan in-me kuši-hš(i)-me-a'' “the temple which they did not build”. ''-ti''/''-ta'' can be suffixed to verbs, chiefly of conjugation I, expressing possibly a meaning of anteriority (perfect and pluperfect tense). The negative particle is ''in-''; it takes nominal class suffixes that agree with the subject of attention (which may or may not coincide with the grammatical subject): first-person singular ''in-ki'', third-person singular animate ''in-ri'', third-person singular inanimate ''in-ni''/''in-me''. In Achaemenid Elamite, the inanimate form ''in-ni'' has been generalized to all persons, and concord has been lost.


Syntax

Nominal heads are normally followed by their modifiers, but there are occasional inversions. Word order is
subject–object–verb In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods fo ...
(SOV), with indirect objects preceding direct objects, but it becomes more flexible in Achaemenid Elamite. There are often resumptive pronouns before the verb – often long sequences, especially in Middle Elamite (''ap u in duni-h'' "to-them I it gave"). The language uses
postpositions Prepositions and postpositions, together called adpositions (or broadly, in English, simply prepositions), are a class of words used to express spatial or temporal relations (''in'', ''under'', ''towards'', ''before'') or mark various semantic ...
such as ''-ma'' "in" and ''-na'' "of", but spatial and temporal relationships are generally expressed in Middle Elamite by means of "directional words" originating as nouns or verbs. They can precede or follow the governed nouns and tend to exhibit noun class agreement with whatever noun is described by the prepositional phrase: ''i-r pat-r u-r ta-t-ni'' "may you place him under me", lit. "him inferior of-me place-you-may". In Achaemenid Elamite, postpositions become more common and partly displace that type of construction. A common conjunction is ''ak'' "and, or". Achaemenid Elamite also uses a number of subordinating conjunctions such as ''anka'' "if, when" and ''sap'' "as, when". Subordinate clauses usually precede the verb of the main clause. In Middle Elamite, the most common way to construct a relative clause is to attach a nominal class suffix to the clause-final verb, optionally followed by the relativizing suffix ''-a'': thus, ''lika-me i-r hani-š-r(i)'' "whose reign he loves", or optionally ''lika-me i-r hani-š-r-a''. The alternative construction by means of the relative pronouns ''akka'' "who" and ''appa'' "which" is uncommon in Middle Elamite, but gradually becomes dominant at the expense of the nominal class suffix construction in Achaemenid Elamite.


Language samples

Middle Elamite (Šutruk-Nahhunte I, 1200–1160 BC; EKI 18, IRS 33): Transliteration: (1) ú DIŠšu-ut-ru-uk-d.nah-hu-un-te ša-ak DIŠhal-lu-du-uš-din-šu-ši- (2) -na-ak-gi-ik su-un-ki-ik an-za-an šu-šu-un-ka4 e-ri-en- (3) -tu4-um ti-pu-uh a-ak hi-ya-an din-šu-ši-na-ak na-pír (4) ú-ri-me a-ha-an ha-li-ih-ma hu-ut-tak ha-li-ku-me (5) din-šu-ši-na-ak na-pír ú-ri in li-na te-la-ak-ni Transcription: ''U Šutruk-Nahhunte, šak Halluduš-Inšušinak-ik, sunki-k Anzan Šušun-ka. Erientum tipu-h ak hiya-n Inšušinak nap-ir u-ri-me ahan hali-h-ma. hutta-k hali-k u-me Inšušinak nap-ir u-ri in lina tela-k-ni''. Translation: I, Šutruk-Nahhunte, son of Halluduš-Inšušinak, king of
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
and
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
. I moulded bricks and made the throne hall of my god Inšušinak with them. May my work come as an offering to my god Inšušinak. Achaemenid Elamite (
Xerxes I Xerxes I ( peo, wiktionary:𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠, 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 ; grc-gre, Ξέρξης; – August 465 BC), commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 ...

Xerxes I
, 486–465 BC; XPa): Transliteration: (01) ect 01dna-ap ir-šá-ir-ra du-ra-mas-da ak-ka4 mu-ru-un
(02) hi pè-iš-tá ak-ka4 dki-ik hu-ip-pè pè-iš-tá ak-ka4 DIŠ
(03) LÚ.MEŠ-ir-ra ir pè-iš-tá ak-ka4 ši-ia-ti-iš pè-iš-tá DIŠ
(04) LÚ.MEŠ-ra-na ak-ka4 DIŠik-še-ir-iš-šá DIŠEŠŠANA ir hu-ut-taš-
(05) tá ki-ir ir-še-ki-ip-in-na DIŠEŠŠANA ki-ir ir-še-ki-ip-
(06) in-na pír-ra-ma-ut-tá-ra-na-um Transcription: ''Nap irša-rra Uramasda, akka muru-n hi pe-š-ta, akka kik hupe pe-š-ta, akka ruh(?)-irra ir pe-š-ta, akka šiatiš pe-š-ta ruh(?)-ra-na, akka Ikšerša sunki(?) ir hutta-š-ta kir iršeki-pi-na sunki(?), kir iršeki-pi-na piramataram.'' Translation: A great god is
Ahura Mazda Ahura Mazda (; ae, , translit=Ahura Mazdā also known as Oromasdes, Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz) is the creator deity A creator deity or creator god (often called the Creator) is a deity A deity or god is a su ...

Ahura Mazda
, who created this earth, who created that sky, who created man, who created happiness of man, who made
Xerxes
Xerxes
king, one king of many, one lord of many.


Relations to other language families

Elamite is regarded by the vast majority of
linguists Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include phonetics, phonet ...
as a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. and are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. A language isolate is a language that is unr ...
,Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs (eds.)(2003), "Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations", Routledge, p.125 as it has no demonstrable relationship to the neighbouring
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication u ...

Semitic languages
,
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
, or to
Sumerian
Sumerian
, despite having adopted the Sumerian-
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is name ...

cuneiform
script. An Elamo-Dravidian family connecting Elamite with the
Dravidian languages Dravidian languages (or sometimes Dravidic languages) are a family of languages spoken by 220 million people, mainly in southern India and north-east Sri Lanka, with pockets elsewhere in South Asia. Since the colonial era, there have been smal ...
of India was suggested in 1967 by Igor M. Diakonoff and later, in 1974, defended by David McAlpin. In 2012, Southworth proposed that Elamite forms the “Zagrosian family” along with
Brahui Brahui may refer to: *Brahui language, a Dravidian language native to the Balochistan Province of Pakistan *Brahui people, an ethnic group native to the Balochistan region of Pakistan *Abdul Karim Brahui (born 1955), politician of Afghanistan {{Di ...

Brahui
and, further down the cladogram, the remaining Dravidian languages; this family would have originated in Southwest Asia (southern Iran) and was widely distributed in South Asia and parts of eastern West Asia before the Indo-Aryan migration. Václav Blažek proposed a relation with the
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication u ...

Semitic languages
. In 2002
George Starostin Georgiy Sergeevich "George" Starostin (russian: Гео́ргий Серге́евич Ста́ростин; born 4 July 1976) is a Russian linguistics, linguist. He is the son of the late historical linguistics, historical linguist Sergei Anatolyev ...

George Starostin
published a lexicostatistic analysis finding Elamite to be approximately equidistant from
Nostratic Nostratic is a hypothetical macrofamily In historical linguistics, a macrofamily, also called a superfamily or phylum, is a proposed genetic relationship grouping together language families (also isolates) in a larger scale classification. Campb ...
and Semitic.Starostin 2002 None of these ideas have been accepted by mainstream historical linguists.


References


Bibliography

* Stolper, Matthew W. 2008. ''Elamite''. In Woodard, Roger D. (ed.) The Ancient Languages of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Aksum. P.60–95. * Khačikjan, Margaret: ''The Elamite Language'', Documenta Asiana IV, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Istituto per gli Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici, 1998 * Paper H. (1955). ''The phonology and morphology of Royal Achaemenid Elamite''. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. * Potts, Daniel T.: ''The archaeology of Elam: formation and transformation of an ancient Iranian state,'' Cambridge U., 1999 and * Starostin, George: ''On the genetic affiliation of the Elamite language'' in Mother Tongue (), vol. VII, 2002, pp. 147–17 *


External links

*
Part 1: A–HPart 2: I–Z

Elamisch
by Ernst Kausen . An overview of Elamite.
Elamite grammar, glossary, and a very comprehensive text corpus
by Enrique Quintana (in some respects, the author's views deviate from those generally accepted in the field)

a detailed description by
Igor Diakonov Igor Mikhailovich Diakonoff (russian: И́горь Миха́йлович Дья́конов; 12 January 1915 – 2 May 1999) was a Russians, Russian historian, linguistics, linguist, and translator and a renowned expert on the Ancient Near East ...

Persepolis Fortification Archive
(requires Java)

(the project is discontinued, but the texts, the translations and the glossaries remain accessible on the
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
through the options "Corpus Catalogue" and "Browse Lexicon")
On the genetic affiliation of the Elamite language
by
George Starostin Georgiy Sergeevich "George" Starostin (russian: Гео́ргий Серге́евич Ста́ростин; born 4 July 1976) is a Russian linguistics, linguist. He is the son of the late historical linguistics, historical linguist Sergei Anatolyev ...

George Starostin
(the Nostratic theory; also with glossary)
Elamite and Dravidian: Further Evidence of Relationship
by David McAlpin {{Authority control Bronze Age writing systems Subject–object–verb languages Language isolates of Asia Pre-Indo-Europeans Languages attested from the 3rd millennium BC Languages extinct in the 3rd millennium BC