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Title: On Some Orthographic Oppositions in the Old Babylonian Copies of the Sargonic Royal Inscriptions (I)
Author(s): KOGAN, Leonid
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 68    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2011   
Pages: 33-56
DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.68.1.2122330

Abstract :
Old Babylonian copies of the inscriptions of the kings of Akkade represent by far the largest body of linguistically informative evidence on Sargonic Akkadian. In spite of this fact, the OB copies have not been treated systematically in Rebecca Hasselbach’s recent Sargonic grammar because of the author’s doubts about their linguistic authenticity:
'The perception that the copies from Nippur are faithful reflections of the original royal inscriptions has often led to their rather uncritical inclusion into the Sargonic Akkadian corpus… Although most of the copies, especially those from Nippur, seem to reflect Sargonic Akkadian features faithfully, they nevertheless contain clear mistakes and divergences from original Sargonic texts based on misinterpretation of Sargonic forms by Old Babylonian scribes' (Hasselbach 2005:11-12).
As I have tried to demonstrate in a forthcoming article, Hasselbach’s doubts at this point are almost entirely unwarranted: hardly any of the alleged OB distortions listed on p. 12 of her grammar can indeed be qualified as such upon a careful examination of the extant evidence.
The present article, the first in a series of forthcoming studies dealing with Sargonic orthography as reflected in the OB copies, has two principal goals. The first one is to test the linguistic reliability of the OB copies on the basis of orthographic oppositions known to be operative elsewhere in the Sargonic corpus. When (and if) this goal is achieved, one can make a legitimate use of the data available from the OB copies for a better understanding of Sargonic phonology and morphology.

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