%C5%A0u (cuneiform)
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%C5%A0u Cuneiform
Cuneiform sign for ?u, qat, and sumerogram ?U.
Amarna letter EA 364-(Obverse), Ayyab to Pharaoh, "Justified War"; line 5: 7 times 7, "7 ?u 7".[1]
(High Resolution exandable photo)

The cuneiform ?u sign is a common, multi-use syllabic and alphabetic sign for ?u, ?, and u; it has a subsidiary usage for syllabic qat; it also has a majuscule-(capital letter) sumerogram usage for ?U, for Akkadian language "q?tu", the word for "hand".[2] The human hand is the shape of cuneiform character ?u, and thus the origin of its creation (late 4th millennium BC, or early 3rd millennium BC).

The scribal usage of a sign allows for any of the 4 vowels (no vowel 'o' in Akkadian), a, e, i, u to be interchangeable; thus a usage for syllabic qat could conceivably be used for the following (k can replace 'q', and d can replace 't'): q, a, or t; also ka, qa, ad, at. (The "?" (shibilant s) is also interchangeable with the other two esses, "s", and "?", for "?u"!)

The ?u sign has a common usage in the Amarna letters and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Its usage numbers in the Epic are as follows:[3]qat-(16), ?u-(420), ?U-(13).


References

  1. ^ Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. EA 365, Justified War, p. 362.
  2. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, q?tu, p. 137.
  3. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Sign List, pp. 155-165, no. 354, p. 161.
  • Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, 1992. 393 pages.(softcover, ISBN 0-8018-6715-0)
  • Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Parpola, Simo, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, c 1997, Tablet I thru Tablet XII, Index of Names, Sign List, and Glossary-(pp. 119-145), 165 pages.

Media related to ?u (cuneiform) at Wikimedia Commons

Media related to Cuneiform signs, Amarna letters at Wikimedia Commons



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