- Elamite language
extinct=by the end of the
4th century BCE
language isolate, but see Elamo-Dravidian languages
Elamite is an
extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites. Elamite was an official language of the Persian Empirefrom the sixth to fourth centuries BCE. The last written records in Elamite appear about the time of the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great.
Over the centuries, three distinct Elamite scripts developed.
Proto-Elamiteis the oldest known writing system from Iran. It was used during a brief period of time (ca. 3100 - 2900 BC); clay tablets with Proto-Elamite writing have been found at different sites across Iran. The Proto-Elamite script is thought to have developed from early cuneiform(proto-cuneiform). The Proto-Elamite script consists of more than 1,000 signs and is thought to be partly logographic. Since it has not yet been deciphered, it is not known whether the language it represents is Elamite or another language. It has been suggested that some early writing systems, including Proto-Elamite, may not relate to spoken languages in the way that modern writing systems do.
Linear Elamiteis a writing system from Iran attested in a few monumental inscriptions only. It is often claimed that Linear Elamite is a syllabic writing system derived from Proto-Elamite, although this cannot be proven. Linear-Elamite was used for a very brief period of time during the last quarter of the third millennium BC. Linear-Elamite has not been deciphered. Several scholars have attempted to decipher linear-Elamite, most notably Walther Hinzand Piero Meriggi.
Elamite Cuneiformscript was used from about 2500 to 331 BC, and was adapted from the Akkadian Cuneiform. The Elamite Cuneiform script consisted of about 130 symbols, far fewer than most other cuneiform scripts.
Elamite was an
agglutinative language, and Elamite grammarfeatures case agreement between nouns, called Suffixaufnahme. It also had the unusual feature of having a class of animate nouns with separate markers for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person.
Relations to other language families
Elamite is mostly thought to have no close relation to the neighboring
Semitic languages, to the Indo-European languages, or to Sumerian, even though it adopted the Sumerian syllabic script.
Elamo-Dravidian versus Afro-Asiatic
There have been two promising attempts at categorization. In one, an
Elamo-Dravidianlanguage family, consisting of Elamite and the Dravidian languages, was carried from Elam to India by eastward migration; this is the view proposed by David McAlpin. In the other, proposed by Václav Blažek, Elamite is more closely related to the Afro-Asiaticlanguages, perhaps forming a distinct subfamily of these. However these are only anticipations and are fraught with uncertainty.
*Khačikjan, Margaret: "The Elamite Language", Documenta Asiana IV, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Istituto per gli Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici, 1998 ISBN 88-87345-01-5
*Potts, Daniel T.: "The archaeology of Elam: formation and transformation of an ancient Iranian state," Cambridge U., 1999 ISBN 0-521-56496-4 and ISBN 0-521-56358-5
* [http://starling.rinet.ru/Texts/elam.pdf On the genetic affiliation of the Elamite language]
* [http://persepolistablets.blogspot.com/ Persepolis Fortification Archive Project]
* [http://homepages.fh-giessen.de/kausen/wordtexte/Elamisch.doc An overview of Elamite (in German)] by Ernst Kausen
* [http://www.um.es/ipoa/cuneiforme/elamita Elamite grammar, glossary, and text corpus (in Spanish)] , by Enrique Quintana (it should be noted that in some respects, the author's views deviate from those generally accepted in the field)
* [http://www.philology.ru/linguistics4/dyakonov-79.htm Эламский язык] , a detailed description (in Russian), by
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Elamite language — extinct language spoken by the Elamites in the ancient country of Elam, which included the region from the Mesopotamian plain to the Iranian Plateau. Elamite documents from three historical periods have been found. The earliest Elamite… … Universalium
Elamite — [ē′ləm īt΄] n. 1. a person born or living in Elam 2. the extinct language of the Elamites: it is not known to be related to any other language: also Elamitic [ē΄ləm it′ik] adj. of Elam or its people, language, or culture … English World dictionary
Elamite — /ee leuh muyt /, n. 1. a native or inhabitant of ancient Elam. 2. Also, Elamitic. a language of unknown affinities, spoken by the Elamites as late as the 1st century B.C., written c3500 c2500 B.C. in a linear script and thereafter in a cuneiform… … Universalium
Elamite — /ˈiləmaɪt/ (say eeluhmuyt) noun 1. an inhabitant of the ancient country of Elam. 2. Also, Elamitic, Susian. the extinct language of this people, not related to any other ancient or modern language. –adjective 3. of or relating to Elam … Australian English dictionary
Elamite — noun 1. a member of an ancient warlike people living in Elam east of Babylonia as early as 3000 BC • Hypernyms: ↑White, ↑White person, ↑Caucasian 2. an extinct ancient language of unknown affinities; spoken by the Elamites • Syn: ↑Elamitic,… … Useful english dictionary
Elamite — noun Date: 1874 a language of unknown affinities used in Elam approximately from the 25th to the 4th centuries B.C … New Collegiate Dictionary
Elamite — ISO 639 3 Code : elx ISO 639 2/B Code : elx ISO 639 2/T Code : elx ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Ancient … Names of Languages ISO 639-3
Elamite — noun 1》 a native or inhabitant of ancient Elam (now SW Iran). 2》 the agglutinative language of Elam … English new terms dictionary
Elamite — E•lam•ite [[t]ˈi ləˌmaɪt[/t]] n. 1) a native or inhabitant of ancient Elam 2) peo the extinct languageof the Elamites, known principally from texts written in a cuneiform syllabary between the 13th and 5th centuries b.c. 3) of or pertaining to… … From formal English to slang
Cassite language — language name=Kassite (Cassite) familycolor=Isolate states=Babylon (extinct) region=Middle East extinct=by the end of the 4th century BCE family=possible language isolate, but see Elamo Dravidian languages iso2=|iso3=Kassite (Cassite) language… … Wikipedia